Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) have released their first cattle market outlook for 2022 and they have reduced the pace of the herd rebuild, citing a slower start to the rebuild in the north.
The herd in 2022 is forecast to come in at 27.2 million head, a revision down 2.2% from the 27.8 million anticipated in their November 2021 estimates. The growth rates for 2023 have also been reduced with MLA expecting the herd to reach 27.9 million head, instead of 28.6 million head forecast in their November release.
It wont be until 2024 that the herd gets over 28 million head, according to MLA’s February 2022 cattle market outlook, with 28.3 million head anticipated.
There have been some slight adjustments to annual cattle slaughter volumes for 2022 and 2023. MLA expect slaughter in 2022 to be 0.8% higher than their November 2021 estimate, coming in at 6.7 million head.
However there has been 180,000 head shaved off the 2023 estimate, with a forecast of 7.27 million from their February 2022 outlook, which is down 2.4% from the 7.45 million head expected from their November release.
Cattle slaughter in 2024 is expected to reach 7.85 million head as the herd tips over the 28 million head mark.