Katherine Times Wed 12 Mar 2014
Katherine Times; NewspaperNT
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Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Katherine; Katherine (N.T.) -- Newspapers
North Australian News for Katherine Times
V.32 issue 9
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
North Australian News for Katherine Times
10 KATHERINE TIMES, WEDNESDAY MARCH 12 2014 www.katherinetimes.com.au THE Australian cattle industry is growing increasingly export focused, sending beef where the money is, but ABARES doesnt see long-term price relief for producers. Over the 2013-14 financial year, ABARES forecasts that the weighted average saleyard price of beef cattle will fall 18 per cent below the 10 year average, to 290 cents a kilogram, a two per cent fall on 2012-13. With the shaky proviso of a return to average seasonal conditions, prices are expected to tick upwards 12 per cent in 2014-15 to 325c/kg, and stay around that level out to 2016-17 during a herd rebuilding phase. But in recognition of global competition on beef pricing, ABARES forecasts that real cattle prices will trend back down to current levels by 20182019 as slaughter rates and beef production increase on restored herd numbers. Australias beef industry will continue to increase its reliance on exports, ABARES says, as high overseas demand backed by strong pricing pulls product away from the domestic market. In the current financial year, Australia is estimated to export 68 per cent of its beef production. That is forecast to rise to 70 per cent by 2018-19. Exports of boxed beef to the United States, China and Korea will continue to expand, but the Japanese market is tightening up as long-standing restrictions on US beef are loosened. The live export trade seems likely to undergo a new expansionary phase, with 750,000 head forecast to be exported this year, mostly to Indonesia, and potential for 775,000 head in the following year. The United States, struggling to rebuild its own beef herd after recurring cycles of drought, promises to take more manufacturing beef - up 11 per cent in 2013-14 to 230,000 tonnes, and another four per cent in 2014-15 - at steadily increasing prices. >> rural No price relief in sight Kimberley abattoir eyes exports YEEDA Pastoral Company could send boxed beef out of its Kimberley abattoir by the middle of 2014. According to pastoralist and entrepreneur Jack Burton, Yeeda Pastoral Company, the plant will process up to 35 carcases an hour within a few months. Mr Burton began construction on the meat-processing plant, located 70km east of Broome five months ago, which he said would be 100 per cent complementary to the existing live export trade, only targeting low carcase weight Kimberley cattle. The stuff that can go on a boat for $2.30 is not going to come here to the abattoir, he said. We are looking at a lot of smaller animals and minimising the spend, Mr Burton said. It is basically what the Indonesians cant handle or dont want is what we want to build our business around here. Mr Burton said the abattoir was initially designed as a slaughter-andquarter plant to process small carcase animals not suitable for live export. But a lucrative contract with prominent North American and Chinese burger companies, reached within the last six months, had given him an incentive to embark on hot boning as well. He said getting involved with North American fast food giant Burger King was one of the best decisions he had made. They are pretty keen to get people down here to help us get our accreditation, he said. With nearby Kilto Station as the primary beef supply, Mr Burton said the facility would process between 200 and 300 carcases each day for Kimberley Free Range Beef Pty Ltd that would be sent to Broome or Perth. Located in the heart of Yeeda Station, Mr Burton said he hoped to walk cattle into the abattoir for the first three months of the year during the wet season. Mr Burton said the facility was open to anyone who had access dur ing the wet season. There is obviously a premium going to be paid for that time of year, Mr Burton said. That is our security - we dont want to be in the abattoir looking for cattle in March. But with live export - if someone gets $1.55 good luck to them, I'll be buying what they reject, spaying them and bushing them in FebruaryMarch. So it isnt fighting against live export. *Conditions apply. Agents may charge service fees and/or fees for card payments which vary. Airfare not included unless otherwise stated. All savings are included in the advertised price and are per person twin share, unless otherwise stated. Offers valid for new bookings only. Prices and savings are correct as at 12 Feb 14, subject to availability and may change at time of booking. 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