Australia is one of the world’s most efficient producers of cattle and the world’s third largest exporter of beef.

The off-farm meat value of the Australian beef and cattle industry is $12.3 billion (consumer expenditure plus export value).


Herd facts and figures:

• 77,164 properties with cattle (ABS Agricultural Commodities  2011-12).

• 28.5 million cattle and calves (ABS Agricultural Commodities   2011-12).

• 13.6 million beef cows and heifers (ABS Agricultural Commodities 2011-12).

• The cattle industry involves 57% of all farms with agricultural activity.


• The gross value of Australian cattle and calf production (including  live cattle exports) is estimated at $7.4 billion (ABARES 2012-13).

• Cattle contributed 16% of the total farm value of $47.3 billion in  2011-12 (ABARES Agricultural Commodities June 2013).

• The direct contribution of beef and live cattle to gross domestic product was approximately 1% in 2012-13.

Domestic value and consumption:

• Domestic expenditure on beef was approximately $6.6 billion in  2012-13 (MLA estimate).

• Australians ate around 32.5kg of beef per person in 2012-13  (MLA estimate).

• Around 94% of Australian fresh meat buyers purchased beef in  2012-13 (AC Nielsen Homescan).

• In volume terms, beef is the second most popular fresh meat consumed through the foodservice industry after chicken  (BIS Shrapnel).


Export value and volume:

• In 2012-13, Australia exported 67% of its total beef and veal production to over 100 countries (DAFF/ABS).

• The value of total beef and veal exports in 2012-13 was $5.06 billion (ABS).

• Australian live cattle exports were valued at $590 million in 2012-13 (ABS).

• The beef industry (including live cattle) contributes 13% to the total farm export value of $40 billion (FOB) (ABARES Agricultural Commodities June 2013).


Australia’s place in the world:

• Australia has 3% of the world cattle inventory, with India, Brazil and China taking the top three places (USDA 2012).


• Australia produces 4% of the world’s beef supply, and is the third largest beef exporter in the world (USDA 2012).