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Australian Beef: now versus then – more volatility, more opportunities and more exports

The Australian beef supply chain is more volatile than ever before, providing ample opportunity for producers, according to a recent report by ANZ.

Australian Beef: The Carve Up – which will be launched at Beef Australia 2024, in May – provides a look ahead for the cattle industry, and the changing landscape of the last two decades. The report highlights the international market as a key driver behind the welcome increase in demand for domestic producers.


Another key driver is the changing nature of demand in the domestic industry, and the shift from predictable saleyard returns, to marked price jumps, and falls.


ANZ Head of Agribusiness, Mark Bennett said: “As we see more complexity in the supply chain, and more volatility in pricing, there are more opportunities for producers to diversify, reduce risk and take advantage of seasonal upswings.


“There have been significant changes in the last 20 years, and they’re coming to a head now. Beef isn’t what it was even just five ago, when demand was driven by too few cattle on the ground, it’s now the opposite. The high herd number and a gap in the market left by the US, is leading to higher demand for exports and continued upward pressure on domestic prices, he said.”


With the EYCI currently trading around 25 per cent below trend, there is certainly an expectation that strong export demand will put upward pressure on domestic saleyard and retail prices.


The breakdown of division of profit at after the farm-gate show the whole supply chain is absorbing the relatively stable beef prices being passed on to consumers.  It shows that strong export prices are proving a useful offset for an industry seeking to maintain lower prices at the retail end.


“Today’s cattle industry might be more volatile, but there are big opportunities for the agile and responsive producer to make the most of any prevailing conditions through various sales channels on offer, and a strong export demand for Australian beef.”


ANZ is a principal partner of Beef Australia 2024. “It’s a once in 3-year opportunity to access key decision makers and peers in the industry and have important conversations about the future of the industry,” Mr Bennett said.


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