Cattle and lamb meat slaughters drop in Australia

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Australian cattle slaughtering drops
Cattle and lamb meat slaughters were down while goat and sheep meat increased in 2017, The Australian red meat and livestock industry State of the Industry Report 2018 has revealed.

The report, compiled by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), on behalf of the red meat industry, covers production, consumption, exports, as well as the economic significance of the industry.

The report revealed that in 2017, adult cattle slaughter totalled 7.2 million (m) head, down 2% year-on-year (Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)). While lamb slaughter totalled 22.4m head, down 2% year-on-year (ABS).

The picture was more positive for both sheep and goat meat that saw increases. Sheep slaughter totalled 7.5m head, an increase of 8% (ABS). Goat slaughter totalled 2.1m head in 2017, an increase of 7% year-on-year (ABS).

The report also revealed that Australia exported 59% of lamb and 95% of mutton production in 2017.  (Department of Agriculture & Water Resources (DAWR), ABS). It exported 28,426 tonnes shipped weight of goat meat in 2017, an increase of 6% year-on-year. It also exported 69% of total beef and veal production.

While beef consumption has seen a gradual decline, Australia remains one of the world’s largest per capita consumers at around 26kg of beef per capita, the report revealed.

Australia’s lamb consumption has remained steady at around 9kg per capita, despite increasing retail prices, remaining one of the largest per capita consumers of sheepmeat in the world.

Mutton consumption has all but disappeared domestically as the national flock size has reduced, the production focus has shifted and export markets have increasingly been developed for this meat, the report said.

It also said that Australia in 2017 was the third largest beef and veal exporter, after India and Brazil and it was also the largest sheepmeat exporter, followed by New Zealand. In 2016, the country was the largest goatmeat exporter globally.

The report also revealed that Australia’s red meat and livestock industry turnover was $65 billion (bn) in 2016–17, according to statistics from Ernst & Young and IBISWorld.

Australia's red meat and livestock industry total value add was $18.4bn in 2016-17, an increase of 61% since 2012-13.

Related topics: Australia, Analysis, Lamb, Beef

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