Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Asia a boost for beef


By : Fiona Myers 
BEEF has a bright future over the next five years, according to one of the nation's leading banks.
Despite the current low returns for prime cattle and a stalling store market, ANZ's head of agribusiness Mark Bennett said the Australian beef industry was in a strong position.
"(The beef industry) is well placed to become one of the best-performing agricultural markets in Australia this year," Mr Bennett said.
"We're seeing increased demand and export opportunities coming out of Asia, as well as from emerging markets such as Russia, the Middle East and South-East Asia.
"These countries have strong GDP and income growth, and this is resulting in higher demand for protein."
Mr Bennett said the key for the Australian beef market was to work out what emerging markets wanted.
"We then need to make sure we're well positioned to provide them with the right beef product, at the right time," he said.
"Overall we're seeing a buoyant domestic beef market at the moment."
Mr Bennett said Australia was well placed in the world beef market, thanks to better seasons allowing the national herd to expand.
"Our international competitors are also facing supply constraints, which means our local producers who have been rebuilding stock levels, enabled by strong seasonal conditions for three consecutive years, are in a good position to meet this growing demand," he said.
"The Australian beef industry is being presented with an opportunity it hasn't seen for some time.
"We are optimistic that with good pre-farm-gate management, on-farm management, and post-farm-gate activities, the sector can really outperform."
The ANZ view is backed by statistics from Meat and Livestock Australia, which show beef exports to the Middle East and North Africa region increased 31 per cent last year to 34,310 tonnes.
MLA forecasts the national cattle herd will reach 30 million this year as producers continue to rebuild after drought.
Original Article Here

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