7215.0 - Livestock Products, Australia, Mar 2020 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/05/2020   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product

Livestock slaughtered and meat produced

Seasonally adjusted movement since December 2019


  • 2.0 million were slaughtered (down 6.9%)
  • 594,000 tonnes of beef were produced (down 4.8%)

Image: Graph showing cattle slaughtered and beef produced in Australia over the past 9 quarters

  • 2.1 million were slaughtered (down 14.6%)
  • 52,600 tonnes of mutton were produced (down 14.3%)

Image: Graph showing sheep slaughtered and mutton produced in Australia over the past 9 quarters

  • 5.2 million were slaughtered (down 0.9%)
  • 124.900 tonnes of lamb were produced (up 0.4%)

Image: Graph showing lambs slaughtered and lamb produced in Australia over the past 9 quarters

  • 1.3 million were slaughtered (up 2.4%)
  • 103,300 tonnes of pork were produced (up 4.1%)

Image: Graph showing pigs slaughtered and pork produced in Australia over the past 9 quarters


Recent bushfire activity in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory has resulted in only minor disruption to ABS livestock data collection activities for this release. Quality assurance undertaken by the ABS confirmed that these disruptions have resulted in minimal impacts to national Livestock statistics to date. Whilst it is expected that bushfire activity may have some impact on future Livestock estimates this activity is not observed in the March quarter estimates.

Impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in March 2020

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 March 2020 reference quarter, 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 as at the March 2020 reference quarter. 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 24-27 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).

New ABS Website

The ABS will be launching a new website in 2020. You will soon be able to see how this release will appear on the new website by exploring our Beta site. Regular users of this information are encouraged to explore the Beta site and consider if this will affect the way you access and consume ABS data and information. If you would like more information on the new ABS website, or want to discuss how the transition to the new site might impact you, please email newABSwebsite@abs.gov.au