Weekly kill: Signs of life in export beef trade lifts hopes


Jon Condon, BEEF Central (AU)



A MODERATE, but encouraging lift in demand and prices for Australian beef in some export markets is starting to rein-in some of the big losses experienced by beef processors this year.


With near record prices for slaughter cattle during the first quarter making Australian exports less competitive on the world stage, processors across the eastern states have had a tough start to 2021.


As can be seen in the most recent beef processor margin model published by Thomas Elder Markets published below, processor margin has tracked sideways for the last three months, with losses in excess of $300 per head for each month – reaching 20-year lows.


January’s margin loss sat at $340, but the February figure had a small revision, with the loss revised down from $339 to $326 per head. The updated beef export figures for February saw a marginal improvement into processor receipts, and this managed to return a few extra dollars to the processor pockets.


However, March data showed the negative margin widening again to record a $336 per head loss. This brings the average annual margin loss to $333 per head for the 2021 season so far...


Slaughter cattle supply challenge eases ...


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