7121.0 - Agricultural Commodities, Australia, 2017-18 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/2019   
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Changing climatic conditions during the year ending 30 June 2018 limited growth of Australian livestock numbers.

Beef cattle

The national beef herd remained relatively steady at 24 million head, with declines in the herd in most states offset by increases in Queensland and Victoria:

At June 2018 the national beef herd comprised:

  • 5 million calves (down 0.3%)
  • 12 million cows and heifers (down 0.2%)
  • 6 million other cattle (up 4%)
Image: Graph showing the change in beef cattle herd size over the past 8 years

Dairy cattle

The national dairy herd increased slightly in 2017-18.

At 30 June 2018, there were 2.6 million dairy cattle, including:
  • 1.5 million cows in milk and dry (up 2%)
  • 452,000 dairy calves less than one year (up 1%)
  • 411,000 heifers 1 to 2 years old (down 6%)
  • 138,000 heifers 2 years and older (up 14%)
Image: Graph showing the change in dairy cattle herd size over the past 8 years

Sheep and lambs

Dry conditions in 2018 limited flock rebuilding nationally.

At June 2018, there were 71 million sheep and lambs in Australia (down 2%), including:
  • 22 million marked lambs less than one year old (down 4%)
  • 27 million breeding merino ewes (up 1%)
  • 13 million other breeding ewes (down 3%)
Image: Graph showing the change in sheep and lamb herd size over the past 8 years


Increased numbers of pigs in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia were offset by falls in New South Wales and Victoria in 2017-18.

At June 2018, there were 3 million pigs (up 2%) nationally. Of these there were:
  • 274,000 breeding sows (down 1%)
  • 2 million other pigs (up by 2%)