A time to kill, still.

Livestock | 22nd February 2023 | By Matt Dalgleish

Market Morsel

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.


  • USA
  • FSR
  • Slaughter
  • Herd Liquidation
  • Supply and Demand