The Eastern States Cattle Slaughter figures dipped below 140,000 head last week, although both Queensland and Victoria figures were marginally higher week-on-week.
While the overall total was down by just one per cent, aided by strong falls in Tasmania and South Australia, it is the year-on-year tally that is intriguing.
The comparison to 2017 is 10% higher with all except South Australia supplying increased figures.
While supply has increased at physical markets, direct selling is by far the lager option for producers. Saleyard figures, while larger, are still controlled by impressive feedlot and restocker competition, so the physical markets add little to the slaughter figures.
Slaughter figures for Queensland were 77,000 head, New South Wales 32,700, and Victoria was almost 24,000 head.
While the saleyard supply of female cattle is still very dominant, selling female cattle, particularly cows, direct to processors is still a few weeks ahead.
Interestingly, sheep slaughter figures are well up with just over 170,000 head being 39% higher year-on-year, but lambs are down 30% with last week’s figures reading just over 257,500 head.
Victoria is the leader here being one percent higher compared to the previous week, but supply is about to lift with the Western District on the verge of a supply boom.