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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/02/2008   
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Contents >> Agriculture >> Livestock

LIVESTOCK

Cattle, sheep and pigs are the main livestock grown in Australia and have been present since the earliest days of European settlement.

Table 16.27 shows the number of cattle, sheep and lambs, and pigs as at 30 June 2006.

16.36 LIVESTOCK, By state and territory - 30 June 2006

NSW
Vic.
Qld
SA
WA
Tas.
NT
Aust.(a)
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000
’000

Cattle
Milk
346
1 753
206
169
122
197
-
2 793
Meat
5 846
2 679
11 764
1 219
2 350
505
1 674
26 054
Total
6 192
4 432
11 970
1 388
2 472
702
1 674
28 846
Sheep and lambs
Sheep
22 928
13 401
3 754
8 181
16 961
2 241
* -
67 552
Lambs (under one year)
8 737
4 868
1 012
3 525
6 298
713
*1
25 176
Total
31 665
18 269
4 765
11 706
23 258
2 953
*1
92 728
Pigs
Breeding sows
74
72
73
51
34
2
-
306
Other pigs
593
562
644
364
271
14
2
2 449
Total
666
633
717
414
305
17
2
2 755

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Includes ACT.
Source: Selected Agricultural Commodities, Australia, Preliminary (7112.0).



Cattle

Cattle farming occurs in all states and territories. While dairy cattle are restricted mainly to southern and coastal districts, beef cattle are concentrated in Queensland and New South Wales.

Beef cattle production is often combined with cropping, dairying and sheep. In the northern half of Australia, cattle properties and herd sizes are very large, pastures are generally unimproved, fodder crops are rare and beef is usually the only product. The industry is more intensive in the south, with higher stocking rates per hectare, improved pastures and use of fodder crops, rotational grazing practices and increased inputs such as fertiliser and animal health products.

Cattle numbers in Australia increased to a peak of 31.8 mill. in 1976 after which time seasonal conditions and profitability saw numbers drop dramatically. For the five years from 1984 the size of the herd remained relatively stable. Between 1989 and 1998 cattle numbers increased gradually, despite unfavourable weather conditions continuing in many parts of Australia. After a slight decline in 1999, cattle numbers increased to a high of 27.9 mill. in 2002. Dry conditions over much of the country in 2002-03 saw cattle numbers fall but improved conditions in some regions in the following two years resulted in small increases in the national herd.

Graph 16.28 shows total cattle (milk and meat) numbers in Australia from 1886 to 2006.

16.37 Cattle(a) - 1886 to 2006
Graph: 16.37 Cattle(a)—1886 to 2006
By 30 June 2006, the Australian cattle herd numbered 28.8 mill. head consisting of 2.8 mill. milk cattle and 26.0 mill. meat cattle. Victoria had the most milk cattle (1.8 mill.) while Queensland grazed the most meat cattle (11.8 mill.) (table 16.27).

Sheep

Sheep numbers reached a peak of 180 mill. in Australia in 1970. In general, numbers have fallen since then. Poor market prospects for wool after 1990 had a marked impact on the flock size with sheep numbers falling rapidly until 1995, after which there was a gradual decline until 1999. By 30 June 2003, sheep and lambs had fallen to 99.3 mill. with numbers being severely affected by drought conditions throughout much of the country. At 30 June 2006, flock numbers were at 92.7 mill. head. New South Wales carries the most stock with 31.7 mill. head followed by Western Australia (23.3 mill.) and Victoria (18.3 mill.) (table 16.27).

Graph 16.29 shows total sheep and lamb numbers in Australia from 1906 to 2006.

16.38 sheep and lambs(a) - 1906 to 2006
Graph: 16.38 sheep and lambs(a)—1906 to 2006
Pigs

Pig farming is a highly intensive industry. The majority of pigs are grown in specially designed sheds which provide a controlled environment conducive to the efficient production of large numbers of animals. Recent changes in the Australian pig industry have seen many smaller producers leave the industry and existing producers increase their size of operations in an attempt to remain viable.

In 2006, pigs numbered 2.8 mill. head with Queensland the dominant state (717,000 head), just ahead of New South Wales (666,000) and Victoria (633,000) (table 16.27).

Poultry

Poultry farming is also a highly intensive industry, with the majority of poultry raised in large sheds which provide the birds with a stable environment protected from the elements. The poultry farming industry consists of two streams - meat production and egg production - both being major users of feed grains. In June 2006, poultry farmers were holding 77.4 mill. chickens for meat production and 16.2 mill. for egg production.


Livestock products

Milk

Dairying is a major Australian agricultural industry. The estimated gross value of dairy production at farm-gate prices in 2005-06 was $3,343m (table 16.30), which was a 5% increase on the previous year and represented 9% of the gross value of agricultural production.

Most dairy production occurs in high rainfall coastal fringe areas where climate and natural resources allow production to be based on year-round pasture grazing. This enables efficient, low-cost milk production. With the exception of several inland river schemes, pasture growth generally depends on natural rainfall. Feedlot-based dairying is expanding, although it remains uncommon.Milk production rose steadily until 1999-2000. Less favourable seasonal conditions and farm exits associated with deregulation of the milk industry saw production decrease by 3% to 10,545 million litres (ML) in 2000-01, before recovering to 11,271 ML in 2001-02. Dry seasonal conditions, limiting the growth of pastures and the availability of fodder crops over the last four years have seen milk production fall 10% in this period to 10,089 ML in 2005-06 (table 16.30).

16.39 WHOLE MILK INTAKE BY FACTORIES, Production, use and value

Market milk sales by factories
Milk used in the manufacture of dairy products
Total milk production
Gross value
ML
ML
ML
$m

2001-02
1 909
9 362
11 271
3 717
2002-03
1 925
8 403
10 328
(a)2 795
2003-04
1 976
8 099
10 075
2 809
2004-05
2 017
8 108
10 125
3 194
2005-06
2 066
8 023
10 089
3 343

(a) Excludes NT.
Source: Value of Principal Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, Preliminary (7501.0); Dairy Australia.


Average annual per person milk consumption has stabilised at around 100 litres since the mid-1980s. According to Dairy Australia data for 2005-06, Australians consumed 101 litres of milk, 11.8 kilograms of cheese, 6.7 kilograms of yoghurt and 3.9 kilograms of butter/blends per person.

In 2006-07 Australia exported dairy products valued at $2.3b (1.3% of total merchandise exports). Milk, cream and milk products (excluding butter and cheese) contributed $1.3b, while cheese and curd, and butter and other fats and oils derived from milk brought in $827m and $179m respectively.

Meat production and slaughterings

Tables 16.31 and 16.32 show details of slaughtering and meat production from abattoirs, and from commercial poultry and other slaughtering establishments. They include estimates of animals slaughtered on farms and by country butchers. The data relate only to slaughtering for human consumption and do not include animals condemned or those killed for boiling down.

Production of beef in 2006-07 increased by 7% to 2,196,000 tonnes (table 16.31).

Changing patterns in both consumer demand, and sheep and lamb supply have seen production of lamb meat exceed production of mutton for each of the past eight years. In 2006-07, the trend continued with lamb production up 31,000 tonnes (8%) to 413,000 tonnes while mutton production increased 27,000 tonnes (11%) to 271,000 tonnes.

Significant changes have taken place in the pig meat producing industry in recent years. Capital investment and corporate takeovers have seen the emergence of a few large companies producing a significant proportion of all pig meat sold in Australia. These moves, and the trend to more intensive and efficient production techniques, have seen pig meat production rise steadily since the mid-1970s when production dipped to a low of 174,000 tonnes. In 2006-07, pig meat production fell 2% to 382,000 tonnes.

16.40 LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY SLAUGHTERED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION

Cattle
Calves
Sheep
Lambs
Pigs
Chickens(a)
Other fowls and turkeys(b)
Ducks and
drakes
mill. head
mill. head
mill. head
mill. head
mill. head
mill. head
mill. head
mill. head

2002-03
8.1
1.1
13.7
16.9
5.7
419.2
9.2
4.1
2003-04
7.8
1.0
10.4
16.6
5.6
423.7
9.6
4.5
2004-05
8.0
0.9
11.4
17.3
5.3
437.6
10.2
4.7
2005-06
7.6
0.8
11.8
18.7
5.4
437.9
10.8
5.2
2006-07
8.2
0.9
13.3
20.2
5.3
453.9
10.8
5.4

(a) Excludes NT and Tas.
(b) Comprises hens, roosters, etc.
Source: Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0).


16.41 PRODUCTION OF MEAT

Carcass weight
Dressed weight
Beef
Veal
Mutton
Lamb
Pig meat
Total red
meat
Chicken
meat
(a)
Total
poultry
(a)(b)
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t

2002-03
2 035
38
268
329
420
3 090
690
726
2003-04
1 998
35
220
341
406
3 000
694
721
2004-05
2 133
29
237
354
389
3 142
750
791
2005-06
2 050
28
244
382
389
3 092
773
817
2006-07
2 196
31
271
413
382
3 292
812
855

(a) Excludes NT and Tas.
(b) Includes other fowls, turkeys, ducks and drakes.
Source: Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0).


Table 16.33 shows the gross value of livestock slaughterings over recent years. Following five years of increases, the total value of slaughterings and other disposals decreased by 7% in 2002-03. The 2005-06 value of total slaughterings and other disposals was 12% above the 2002-03 level despite a small fall on the 2004-05 value. Sheep and lamb slaughterings increased 8% in 2005-06.

16.42 GROSS VALUE OF LIVESTOCK SLAUGHTERINGS AND OTHER DISPOSALS

Cattle and calves
Sheep and lambs(a)
Pigs
Poultry
Total(b)
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m

2001-02
7 142.4
2 117.6
967.7
1 174.9
11 434.5
2002-03
6 411.1
2 036.9
911.3
1 280.5
10 676.0
2003-04
6 658.8
2 038.8
878.9
1 280.8
10 896.0
2004-05
7 828.8
1 949.0
906.0
1 303.7
12 030.2
2005-06
7 689.5
2 113.1
888.6
1 226.0
11 966.3

(a) Excludes the value of wool on skins.
(b) Includes value of other livestock.
Source: Value of Principal Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, Preliminary (7501.0).

Table 16.34 shows the volume of exports of fresh, chilled or frozen meat. In 2006-07, beef was again Australia's major meat export with shipments of bone-out beef being the major component at 973,300 tonnes, 9% more than the previous year. Exports of bone-in mutton in 2006-07 increased by 17% to 125,100 tonnes while bone-in lamb exports increased 7% to a record 127,800 tonnes which exceeded the previous year's record.

16.43 EXPORTS OF FRESH, CHILLED OR FROZEN MEAT

Beef
Veal(a)
Mutton
Lamb
Pork
Bone-in
Bone-out
Bone-in
Bone-out
Bone-in
Bone-out
Bone-in
Bone-out
Meat
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t

2002-03
37.5
894.4
3.6
6.5
109.3
52.3
87.9
14.1
62.9
2003-04
32.1
852.4
2.9
6.3
86.5
42.7
100.5
18.3
50.7
2004-05
44.6
959.4
3.3
5.8
101.7
41.8
106.5
21.7
43.5
2005-06
52.2
890.6
3.3
5.8
106.9
41.5
119.5
26.5
44.0
2006-07
52.4
973.3
3.7
5.8
125.1
42.8
127.8
29.1
41.5

(a) Includes buffalo meat.
Source: Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0).


The biggest customers for Australian beef in recent years have been Japan, the United States of America and the Republic of (South) Korea. In 2006-07, Japan imported the most Australian beef with 413,900 tonnes, 3% more than the previous year's shipments. The United States of America was Australia's next best customer with 304,600 tonnes, an increase of 2% on the previous year. The Republic of (South) Korea purchased 173,700 tonnes.

Table 16.35 shows the number, gross weight, gross value and unit value of live sheep and cattle exported for slaughter. The number of live sheep exported for slaughter in 2006-07 declined 3% to 4,137,900 after a 31% increase the previous year. The number of live cattle exported for slaughter in 2006-07 increased 16% to 638,000 head, the highest level since 2002-03.


16.44 LIVE SHEEP AND CATTLE EXPORTS(a)

Sheep
Cattle
Number
Gross weight
Gross value
Unit value
Number
Gross weight
Gross value
Unit value
’000
'000 t
$’000
$
’000
'000 t
$’000
$

2002-03
5 843.2
273.0
408 235
69.87
976.6
362.5
569 288
582.95
2003-04
3 842.7
188.2
266 457
69.34
581.5
192.0
317 850
546.65
2004-05
3 233.2
166.1
206 678
63.92
573.7
191.7
374 060
652.01
2005-06
4 247.7
209.5
291 452
68.61
548.8
182.2
357 793
651.99
2006-07
4 137.9
198.8
288 697
69.77
638.0
216.3
437 610
685.95

(a) Number of live animals exported, other than pure-bred breeding animals.
Source: Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0).


Wool

Australia is the world's largest wool producer, accounting for about a quarter of total production. Wool production has been declining in Australia and the world for the past ten years. Since 1990 Australian wool production has halved, to around 534,000 tonnes in 2005-06. Almost all of Australia's wool is exported, the major markets being China, Italy, India and Taiwan.

Graph 16.36 shows total wool production for the years 1906 to 1973 and then shorn wool from 1974 onwards.

16.45 Wool production(a) - 1906 to 2006
Graph: 16.45 Wool production(a)—1906 to 2006

Shorn greasy wool contains an appreciable amount of grease, dirt, vegetable matter and other material. The exact quantities of these impurities in the fleece var with climatic and pastoral conditions, seasonal fluctuations and the breed and condition of the sheep. It is, however, the clean wool fibre that is ultimately consumed by the textile industry, and the term 'clean yield' is used to express the net wool fibre content present in greasy wool.

The gross value of wool produced in 2005-06 fell 5% to $2,092.5m (table 16.37), about a third the value recorded in 1988-89 ($5.9b), the peak year in the wool boom of the 1980s.

16.46 WOOL, Production and value

Shorn wool
Other wool(a)
Total
Gross value
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
$m

2001-02
536.9
50.4
587.3
2 713.2
2002-03
503.0
48.1
551.1
3 317.8
2003-04
467.5
42.0
509.5
2 396.5
2004-05
475.2
44.4
519.7
2 195.5
2005-06
486.7
47.4
534.2
2 092.5

(a) Comprises dead and fellmongered wool, and wool exported on skins.
Source: Value of Principal Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia, Preliminary (7501.0); ABS data available on request.


The total amounts of taxable wool received by brokers and purchased by dealers in recent years are shown in table 16.38. They exclude wool received by brokers on which tax had already been paid by other dealers (private buyers) or brokers.

16.47 TAXABLE WOOL RECEIVALS

Brokers
Dealers
Total
Brokers as proportion
of total receivals
'000 t
'000 t
'000 t
%

2002-03
390.6
112.5
503.0
77.7
2003-04
384.2
83.3
467.5
82.2
2004-05
383.7
91.5
475.2
80.7
2005-06
383.2
103.6
486.8
78.7
2006-07
362.7
102.0
464.7
78.1

Source: Livestock Products, Australia (7215.0).


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