The growth will be bolstered by strong international demand and increased carcase weight, due to good seasons. Beef exports are expected to increase as well, particularly to Russia and the Middle East, but livestock exports are likely to go down 16%, due to the uncertainty surrounding the Indonesian market.
MLA chief economist Tim McRae said: “A major factor assisting the growth in Australian beef production has been the heavier carcase weights on the back of good seasons. The influence of higher marking rates since 2010 will be reflected in cattle turn-off and beef production in the coming years.
“Global demand for beef is expected to be sustained, if not strengthen – particularly in Asia, South America and the Middle East – while at the same time global beef prices are tracking at historically high levels. Such factors will help to dampen the impact of the high Australian dollar.
“The outlook for the live cattle trade in 2012 continues to be dominated by prospects to Indonesia, with total exports currently forecast to decrease 16% in 2012. The pressure on the Indonesian market, combined with generally good seasons, may see cattle again heading south for processing, easing the expected tight supplies. This will depend largely on the seasons across the north, particularly western Queensland, remaining favourable and the finish to the 2011-12 wet season.”