International beef demand raising steaks

John Howard, Mountain View, Biloela. Photo Kent Ward.
John Howard, Mountain View, Biloela. Photo Kent Ward.

THE region's cattle market is continuing to beef up as both international and domestic supply and demand have pushed prices to an all-time high.

The market has recovered from a low of $2.78 a kilogram in January 2014 to a current record high of $4.83 per kilogram, more than 30 cents per kilogram higher than the February 2015 record.

But graziers exporting to the European Union are reaping the rewards of prices at $5.20 per kilogram with Denmark having the strongest taste for Australian cattle.

"This is extremely high and I've never seen this before," Biloela grazier John Howard said.

"It's purely because of supply and demand."

Mr Howard said international market demand was putting pressure on Australian cattle supply.

"New markets are opening up everywhere and now China is getting on board," he said.

"There are lots of markets for meatworks cattle now where 20 years ago there could have only been two or three, now there could be 15.

"It's very positive but I just hope the extremes don't get too high and the market doesn't crash.

"I don't think it will because the supply and demand numbers just aren't here.

"These prices should continue but you always worry about the broad side of the industry and things beyond our control."

Elders Biloela Livestock Merchandiser Randall Spann said a shortage of cattle had contributed to the price increase.

"Prices are still holding high and going up if anything," Mr Spann said.

"It's been coming for a little while now but it's just starting to happen.

"It's mainly due to a shortage of cattle which means the meatworks are paying better money to get cattle in there.

"When meatworks pick up prices the store sales will go up as well."

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