Recent reports show that the national cattle herd has reduced to a record low of 25.5 million head. The number of cattle going to slaughter, particularly females has increased this year, which has raised some concerns about a diminishing breeding herd. Meat & Livestock Australia pointed to an excess turnoff breeding stock and the dry forecast to explain the 7 per cent increase in slaughter numbers this year. It is predicted that beef production over the next two years will be unlikely to exceed the 2019 levels given the herd reduction. The demand for beef exports however remains high, particularly in China where the outbreak of African Swine Fever has caused an increase in demand for alternative meats. The reports show that Australian beef exports to China in the last year increased 73 per cent on 2018 and the demand is expected to continue. However, there is growing competition given the increase in supplies from countries like the United States and Brazil.


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