For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.
The statistics on slaughtering and meat production for human consumption are based on a monthly collection from abattoirs and other major slaughtering establishments and include estimates of animals slaughtered on farms and by country butchers and other small slaughtering establishments. The data are collected on a state basis and then aggregated to derive Australian totals.
Data are mainly used to monitor the meat production levels by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics, state departments of primary industries, Meat and Livestock Australia, Australian Pork Limited, and other research and industry organisations. The data are also used as input to the calculation of the value of agricultural commodities produced and the Australian National Accounts.
Livestock slaughtering and meat produced are published five weeks after the reference period in the monthly Livestock and Meat, Australia - Electronic Publication (ABS Cat. No. 7218.0.55.001) and six weeks after the reference period in the quarterly Livestock Products, Australia (ABS Cat. No. 7215.0).
As a result of the Intensive Follow Up (IFU) process, data are revised each month as final estimates become available. Most respondents are able to report all the data requested directly from company records, but in some cases not all information is available, so estimates are provided. For example, some small abattoirs do not record the weight of the individual animals. An estimate of the amount of meat produced is derived by multiplying the number of animals slaughtered by an average weight provided or by a predetermined average. As some smaller abattoirs provide aggregate data only, e.g. for cattle slaughtering, an estimate is required to split the data between the appropriate categories.
A minimum response rate of at least 96% is generally achieved for the monthly livestock slaughtering collection.
Most data are directly comparable over different collection cycles.
From July 1997 onwards, the category of Bulls, bullocks and steers was separated into two separate categories of Bulls and Bullocks and Steers. This finer breakdown of Bulls, bullocks and steers was implemented to provide more accurate disposal prices for the cattle item, particularly for breeding stock.
From September 2004, the categories Baconers, Porkers, and Other Pigs were expanded to include a separate category for Breeding sows. The additional category was added at the request of the industry body, Australian Pork Limited.
The survey provides a broad range of up-to-date data about the processing of livestock and production of meat in Australia through a suite of standard products or as data customised for individual requirements. Detailed explanatory notes are provided each quarter in Livestock Products, Australia (cat. no. 7215.0) to assist users in determining and specifying their data requirements and to understand the concepts underlying the data.
The major series estimates from this collection are available in original, seasonally adjusted and trend series. To find out more information on seasonal adjustment and trend estimator please see Timeseries Analysis Frequently Asked Questions.
When to use seasonally adjusted vs trend adjusted data?
Comparing: Month to Month
Benefits and disadvantages
Do not use
May be misleading due to seasonal patterns, residual noise and irregular influences.
Seasonally adjusted estimates
Use with caution
May be misleading for volatile series containing high levels of residual noise. Provides useful information on volatility of series.
The most appropriate indicator for comparing month-to-month or quarter-to-quarter changes. Recent estimates, usually the last 3 or 4, may be revised.
An extensive range of data are available from the monthly livestock collection.
If the information you require is not available as a standard product or service, then ABS Consultancy Services can help you with customised services to suit your needs. Inquiries should be made to either the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Agriculture Client Services on (03) 6222 5939.