Last week’s release of ABS cattle slaughter data highlighted that the Australian herd is still in full rebuild mode, with an annual Female Slaughter Ratio (FSR) of 42.8% for the 2022 season. The same can’t be said for the US herd – they’re entrenched in herd liquidation and, according to their FSR levels, are in the strongest de-stocking phase on record (data goes back to 1986).
The final few months of 2022 saw the US FSR stay above 53%, which brought the average annual FSR to 51.4%. In 2021 the annual FSR in the USA was 49.7%, so there have now been three consecutive years where their FSR held above the 48% threshold between herd liquidation or rebuild. The last time the annual average FSR in the US was near the 2022 record level of 51.4% was the 51.1% achieved in 1986 and that year the US herd dropped by 3.8%, or around 4.2 million head.
Correlation between annual herd change and annual average FSR levels from 1986 to 2021 suggests that an FSR of 51.4% in 2022 would equate to a herd decline of 3.1% and the USDA calculations confirmed this magnitude drop with an announcement of a 3% fall in the herd over 2022 to hit 89.3 million head as at January 2023.