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Livestock Products, Australia

Quarterly statistics on receivals of wool, livestock slaughtering, meat production, and exports.

Reference period
March 2020
Released
19/05/2020

Livestock products (seasonally adjusted)

Since December 2019

Cattle

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

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

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

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

Since December 2019

Chickens

  • 168 million were slaughtered (up 2.0%)
  • 315,500 tonnes of chicken meat were produced (up 2.2%)
     

 

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Wool

Receivals for the March 2020 quarter rose slightly, however, continuing dry seasonal conditions have led to a year on year decrease in wool produced in most regions, with many farms destocking across recent quarters.

  • 74,300 tonnes were received (up 2.2%)
  • Wool brokers and dealers reported increases in most states with South Australia up 7.8% (to 11,100 tonnes), Western Australia up 2.8% (to 17,600 tonnes) and Victoria up 2.6% (to 21,500 tonnes).
  • New South Wales wool receivals were down 1.6% (to 21,400 tonnes)
     
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Livestock value (original)

Gross value quarterly original movements for March 2020:

  • Cattle and calves decreased by 2.6% to $3.2 billion
  • Sheep and lambs increased by 1.1% to $1.4 billion
  • Pigs increased by 7.0% to $406 million
  • Poultry increased by 5.6% to $724 million
     
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Changes in this and forthcoming issues

Bushfires

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

The ABS is continuing to monitor potential impacts from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the suite of livestock 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 the ABS' livestock collections. For 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 - livestock slaughtering and meat produced

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 for livestock slaughtering and meat produced 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 slaughtering and meat production trend series have therefore been suspended as at the March 2020 reference quarter. These 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 methodology and the ABS Feature Article: When it's Not "Business-as-Usual": Implications for ABS Time Series (cat no. 1350.0).

Exports data

From March 2020, exports data (exports of fresh, chilled, frozen and processed meat and exports of live cattle and sheep) will no longer be published in Livestock Products, Australia (cat. no. 7215.0). ABS exports data can be found in the International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0). Please contact us on 1300 135 070 if you need help accessing this information. The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment also publishes detailed livestock exports data.

Data downloads - time series spreadsheets

I-note

From March 2020, exports data (exports of fresh, chilled, frozen and processed meat and exports of live cattle and sheep) will no longer be available in this publication.

Table 1. Livestock slaughtered - excluding chickens: all series ('000)

Table 2. Livestock slaughtered - chickens: all series ('000)

Table 3A. Livestock slaughtered - excluding chickens: original ('000)

Table 3B. Livestock slaughtered - chickens: original ('000)

Table 4. Chicken meat produced: all series (tonnes)

Table 5. Brokers and dealers receivals of taxable wool: all series (tonnes)

Data downloads - data cubes

I-note

From March 2020, exports data (exports of fresh, chilled, frozen and processed meat and exports of live cattle and sheep) will no longer be available in this publication.

Publication tables

Gross value of livestock slaughtered