7218.0.55.001 - Livestock and Meat, Australia, Apr 2020 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/06/2020   
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    Impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in April

    The ABS is continuing to monitor potential impacts from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on livestock slaughtering statistics, and will continue to do so for the duration of the pandemic.

    For the April 2020 reference month, COVID-19 did not impact data collection activities related to livestock slaughtering. Individual abattoirs and slaughtering establishments reported a range of impacts attributed to COVID-19:

    • some businesses reported that although trade in food services has reduced, there is greater demand for meat from supermarkets and butchers;
    • select businesses reported a decrease in their operations due to COVID-19 restrictions impacting exports;
    • other businesses reported little to no impact from COVID-19 restrictions.

    Suspension of trend estimates

    The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in livestock slaughter and meat production. In the short term, this measurement may be affected by changes to regular patterns in livestock slaughterings and meat production arising from continuing COVID-19 restrictions, as well as changes in overall environmental conditions. If the trend estimates in this publication were to be calculated without fully accounting for these factors, they would likely provide a misleading view of underlying behaviour in livestock slaughter and meat production.

    It may be some time before the underlying trend in livestock slaughter and meat production can be estimated accurately. The livestock trend series have therefore been suspended from the March 2020 reference month. The trend series will be reinstated when more certainty emerges in the underlying trend for these series.

    For more detail on trend estimates, please refer to paragraphs 16-19 in the Explanatory Notes and the ABS Feature Article: When it's Not "Business-as-usual": Implications for ABS Time Series (cat no. 1350.0).