Bill Tatt: global beef trade roars ahead, with China leading

Stock and property: Bill Tatt (pictured) discusses a range of rural issues in this week's column. To read more visit Photo: File.

Stock and property: Bill Tatt (pictured) discusses a range of rural issues in this week's column. To read more visit Photo: File.

Week Ending 12/04/19

The global beef trade is roaring ahead with China leading the charge in price setting for certain beef cuts with the USA the dominant price setter for the higher end of the market.

America in their own right have also increased their share of world markets as they continue to make strong gains fuelled by unrelenting demand into South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and South East Asia.

Across the world we are seeing more free trade agreements coming into play which helps no end the major red meat exporters including Australia.

Having said that countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand still face higher tariffs into some of these outstanding destinations than does the USA.

Within the American import system Argentina has come in from the cold after 17 years of being banned from that country due to on-going foot and mouth issues, Argentine now is in possession of a 20,000-tonne tariff free quota to the states with 10 processing plants having received certification.

The bulk of this quota is suggested to be grinding (hamburger) beef which will put them in direct competition with our exporters.


Much has been written about the collapse of the Ceres Agricultural Company after receivers were appointed in recent weeks.

The column is not going to dwell on this matter except to say that they were very strong supporters of our physical markets and every player lost from this format is detrimental to the prices received by the growers.

The long running drought and the very high cost of grain no doubt contributed to this company's decision. My understanding is that some of the company's assets have already been liquidated.

With Dubbo missing two Thursday Cattle Sales on April 18 and 25 local agents have come forward with an increased yarding of 5300 head for April 11.

The lack of selling options the continuing effect of the widespread drought have no doubt contributed to these increased numbers. Markets early in the week were mostly softer under the pressure of all major centres reporting increased numbers.

Animal activists have been causing mayhem with their intrusion into the workplace of abattoirs, feedlots, dairies etc, some politicians have labelled their actions as extreme and un-Australian with the coalition announcing in recent days that if they are re-elected they will take steps to implement laws that may see primary offenders being sent to prison.

Hopefully some basic form of law and order will be restored to the workplace in the very near future.

In today's offering at Dubbo the bulk of the yarding consists of plain cattle struggling to find a new home, if they do not have some weight and finish.

One agent selling early had an outstanding run of heavy feeders with a touch of Santa and Droughtmaster and these sold to almost $3.00/kg liveweight which was above my expectations.

These steers were soft coated, fresh condition and I would imagine they would be ideal for the lot feeder.

From Monday's sheep and lamb sale, one highlight caught my attention in the mutton section being a pen of prime crossbred ewes which sold for $240.00.

The pen in question belong to Bill O'Brien from Minore on the outskirts of Dubbo. A credit to the vendor.