Cattle numbers on feed remain above one million head surprising some


Jon Condon, BEEF Central (Australia)

February 18, 2021


CATTLE numbers on feed in Australian feedlots remained above one million head in the December quarter, results released from the latest quarterly feedlot industry survey released this morning show.


The survey conducted in early January reported that total numbers on feed across Australia in December was 1.048 million head, a 37,985 head increase from the September quarter.


The number has surprised some industry stakeholders, but the survey may have come a little too early to capture to current feeding trend, Beef Central was told. March quarter figures may tell a somewhat different story, with plenty of anecdotal evidence among lotfeeders that pens are now thinning out.


Year on year, the December quarter figure was back more than 15 percent from the mid-drought highs, representing about 191,000 head.


Big reductions in smaller feedlots less than 1000 head have been seen over the past three months, while larger yards above 10,000 head have in fact added numbers since September.


The December result means cattle on feed in Australia have now exceeded one million head for the past three years, representing 12 quarters (see graph)...


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