Late surge averts expected collapse in cattle supplies
A surge in cattle supplies to the factories during the back end of last year boosted kill figures and saw off the anticipated fall in supplies.
The total intake at the beef export factories to the start of December exceeded 1.5m head. While the end-of-year figures were still expected to fall behind 2010, the anticipated collapse in the cattle kill failed to materialise.
The total kill for 2010 was 1.642m head and the 2011 end-of-year intake is now likely to fall slightly shy of 1.6m head.
A new record has been set for the supply of young bulls to the meat factories. The supply to the beginning of last month was 149,000hd, the highest on record and in sharp contrast to the 26,000hd supplied to the plants in 1995.
There has been a consistent increase in the intake of young bulls over the past 16 years, increasing to 46,000 in 2000 and 94,000 in 2005.
Despite the earlier predictions of a tight supply of cattle through the back end of the year, factory intakes for the period from September 1 to December 1 were almost on par with 2010.
Total supply from September 1 to December 1 was 506,178hd compared to 516,021hd for the corresponding period the year before.
Meanwhile, the purity of food and production in a green environment have been identified as critically important considerations in an international survey of consumer priorities for the coming year.