Livestock Products, Australia

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

Reference period
September 2021

Livestock products (seasonally adjusted)


  • Cattle slaughtered in the September 2021 quarter increased 0.3% to 1.5 million.
  • Beef production in the September 2021 quarter increased 0.1% to 480,174 tonnes.   



  • Sheep slaughtered in the September 2021 quarter increased 12.6% to 1.4 million.
  • Mutton production in the September 2021 quarter increased 2.5% to 35,117 tonnes.



  • Lambs slaughtered in the September 2021 quarter increased 13.0% to 6.0 million.
  • Lamb meat production in the September 2021 quarter increased 8.8% to 142,143 tonnes.



  • Pigs slaughtered in the September 2021 quarter increased 1.1% to 1.4 million.
  • Pig meat production in the September 2021 quarter increased 2.1% to 112,005 tonnes.



  • Chickens slaughtered in the September 2021 quarter increased 2.0% to 176.1 million. 
  • Chicken meat production in the September 2021 quarter increased 3.0% to 342,149 tonnes. 


  • National wool receivals for the September 2021 quarter decreased 10.7% to 87,361 tonnes.

Livestock value (original)

  • The gross value of cattle and calves slaughtered increased 9.2% to $3.5 billion.
  • The gross value of sheep and lambs slaughtered increased 5.8% to $1.3 billion. 
  • The gross value of pigs slaughtered decreased 2.4% to $394 million. 
  • The gross value of poultry slaughtered increased 4.0% to $781 million.

(a) Data has been revised

Changes in this and forthcoming issues

Impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in September 2021

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.

The Delta outbreak from late June 2021 led to lockdowns in many jurisdiction across Australia, with parts of New South Wales and Victoria under restrictions for the majority of the September 2021 quarter.  For livestock and chicken slaughtering, individual abattoirs and slaughtering establishments and chicken processing plants reported a range of impacts attributed to COVID-19 restrictions. These included:

  • some businesses reporting a decrease in their operations due to COVID-19 restrictions on movement and staff availability;
  • some businesses reporting that trade in food services decreased but there was continued demand for meat from supermarkets and butchers;
  • other businesses reporting little to no impact from COVID1-19 restrictions.


Suspension of trend estimates

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

It may be some time before the underlying trend can be estimated accurately.  The livestock slaughtering and meat production trend series were therefore suspended from the March 2020 reference quarter, and poultry slaughtering and meat production and wool receivals trend series suspended from the June 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 the ABS Feature Article: When it's Not "Business-as-Usual": Implications for ABS Time Series.

Extraordinary annual series review

An extraordinary annual timeseries review was undertaken prior to the release of the September 2021 quarter publication and new forward factors calculated for use from the September 2021 quarter onward. Each series was  individually assessed to determine how observation from the previous year should be treated in estimating the seasonal factors used to produce the current end of the seasonally adjusted series. This process has ensured disruption to series caused by COVID-19 does not unduly affect estimates.

Revisions to the seasonally adjusted series as a result of the review are likely to be larger than the revisions historically observed each quarter prior to September 2020 when concurrent adjustment was used. From the September 2020 quarter, a forward factor method has been used to ensure seasonal factors are not distorted for industries affected by COVID-19 impacts. Series produced from forward factors have used static seasonal factor estimates for the previous year. The review has updated these seasonal factor estimates by incorporating relevant information from the previous year's observations. When concurrent adjustment is used, revisions to the seasonally adjusted estimates will typically be smaller because seasonal factor estimates are updated quarterly on the basis of the addition of just one extra data point.

Further information and the seasonal adjustment methods applied in Livestock Products statistics can be found in the Methodology section.

Data downloads

The ABS will be progressively transitioning to releasing Excel files in .XLSX format from 3rd December 2021. The time series spreadsheets in the Livestock Products will use the new format from the December 2021 issue. Users may need to update their automated processes for downloading and reading the data. Previously released time series spreadsheets will remain in .XLS format. 

Data files

Data cubes

Gross value of livestock slaughtered

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 7215.0.

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