Western Australian Beef Commentary

Summary

  • The size of the Western Australian cattle herd has increased 5% year-on-year between 2012/13 and 2013/14 from 1.88 million head to 1.97 million head. This is reflected in the increase in the number of female cattle in the herd which has grown from around 1 million to 1.08 million head.
  • During 2014/15 total turn off fell 6% when compared to 2013/14 from 720 thousand head to 680 000 head however it is still higher than it has been since 2010/11.
  • 425 000 cattle were slaughtered in Western Australia during 2014/15 which is an increase of 3% compared to the previous year. Australia-wide there was an increase of 7% to 10.1 million head.
  • A year-on-year decrease of 18% was reported for the number of cattle exported live from Western Australia in 2014/15, falling from 305 000 to 250 000 head. Our largest markets during 2014/15 were Indonesia and Israel.
  • The proportion of beef exported from Western Australia has increased from 26% to 41% during the last four years. The largest markets for boxed beef were that of Japan followed by South Korea.
  • During 2015 Western Australian cattle prices have remained very strong. All the major sale yard indicators were in the 97th-99th percentiles during September.
  • Prices for feeder yearlings and heavy cows have been higher throughout 2015 (January to September) than they have been at any time during the preceding three years.

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