Australian beef and veal production forecast to reach record high in 2012

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 23rd January 2012

Total Australian beef and veal production for 2012 is forecast to reach a record 2.197 million tonnes, according to Meat & Livestock Australia.

According to Meat & Livestock Australia’s Chief Economist Tim McRae, the predicted 2.2 per cent increase from 2010’s production volume is a result of continued strong demand from an increasingly diverse range of global markets.

Total beef exports are predicted to increase, driven by expansion into Russia, the Middle East and most southern Asian markets. Traditional export markets will continue to be challenging, with the exception of the US market which is forecast to improve in 2012, as high prices attract additional product, reversing almost a decade of falling Australian shipments

Mr McRae said while cattle numbers will increase in Australia, supply will remain relatively tight compared to the herd liquidating drought years of the past decade.

He said, “A major factor assisting the growth in Australian beef production has been the heavier carcase weights on the back of good seasons. The influence of higher marking rates since 2010 will be reflected in cattle turnoff and beef production in the coming years.”

Mr McRae also said that global demand for beef is expected to be sustained, if not strengthen – particularly in Asia, South America and the Middle East – while at the same time global beef prices are tracking at historically high levels. Such factors will help to dampen the impact of the high Australian Dollar.