March 2, 2021
According to Meat and Livestock Australia’s 2021 annual Cattle Industry Projections report, Australian cattle herd numbers fell to 24.6 million head last year, their lowest levels since the 1990s.
The reduction in herd numbers was primarily driven by years of severe drought that impacted pastures and to meet increased debt burden driven by grain acquisitions during the drought, forcing producers to send heifers to slaughter.
Restocking by producers in 2021 is expected to see prices continue to increase further, from their 2019 lows, with resulting drops in export volumes. However, restocking is a years-long process and expected to influence prices over the short to medium term.
The Meat & Livestock Australia’s 2021 report anticipates Australian cattle herd numbers to increase two percent to 25.2 million head in 2021. This is reflective of a more gradual herd restock due to the smaller breeding base and the terrible drought primary producers endured. The oversupply of cattle sent to slaughter in 2019 caused prices to drop to half the record seen prices today.
Demand for Australian beef is anticipated to continue to grow as the post-COVID-19 recovery picks up steam in key Australian beef export markets and represents a significant opportunity for Australian primary producers.
Located in the Beef Capital of Australia, at Knight Public Accountants we know beef cattle farming, herd inventory management and can build strategies to help you maximise the average price per head.
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