• September / October Meat Market Update

September / October Meat Market Update


  • Beef cattle availability and volume of product continues to prove to be a challenge domestically.
  • Cattle pricing continues to remain high in the market as slaughter numbers remain extremely low.
  • Beef is still hovering around $7.74/kg (28th September) in comparison to same time last year being at $4.88/kg, an increase of $2.86/kg or 61% YoY.
  • Slaughter numbers continue to remain low this month with numbers hovering around the 100k head per week.
  • In comparison to same time last year, beef production was averaging around 150k head per week. Again around 50% swing from last year at the same time.
  • Earlier forecasted predictions were that adult cattle slaughter numbers were forecasted to drop by 17% compared to 2019 numbers, however the realisation is that numbers could be far greater than this.
  • The forecast is not expected to get any better for the short term and expectations are that we will continue to see high pricing until well into the New Year.
  • My recommendation would be to not quote customers for any longer than 2-4 weeks projection on any meat lines.




  • Whilst pig slaughter numbers for last week spiked back up over the 100k/week indicator, the historical decrease of numbers during the remainder of this year will continue towards December.
  • We will continue to see a slow but gradual increase of pricing over the next few months as we approach Christmas.
  • The market for fresh boned and rolled pork legs usually provides the key indicator for competitor pork pricing in the market and as such we are seeing customer prices increasing, with small splashes of competitor ‘stock dumping’ as they try to clear old dated stock.
  • As the beef and lamb markets continue to be volatile and unpredictable, we should be looking for solutional based selling utilizing pork to help our client base.
  • Monthly price files on pork should give you and your customer stability for the remainder of the year 



  • Lamb slaughter rates took an unexpected increase during the month of September.
  • Stocks were expected to remain tight until Christmas as Australia is replenishing our national sheep herd numbers and breeder stocks, but the numbers returned to YoY comparisons. (see table on left)
  • Sheep slaughter numbers continue to remain extremely low as Australia rebuilds its National breeder stock. (see table on right)
  • If YoY trends are anything to go by, we should continue to see slaughter numbers of lambs remain on the same upwards trend as previous years as we approach Christmas.
  • Sheep meat will continue to increase through Spring, just not to the extent of previous years.
  • Governing bodies are still predicting that lamb slaughter numbers for 2020 will be down by around 5% YoY and sheep numbers are expected to decrease by around 30% YoY.
  • Monthly price offerings should be considered safe.


  • Poultry pricing is on the threshold of coming back down.
  • Processors and manufacturers are starting to process higher and higher amounts of birds each week which will result in more stock coming through production.
  • After the retail sector take the majority share of fresh processed poultry the amount of stock being ‘leftover’ and then being packaged and blast frozen will continue to increase.
  • Breast meat is the key indicator in the poultry market for competitor pricing and it is holding at $6.40/kg currently.
  • It is expected that if numbers of birds going through processing continues to be strong, we will see the market drop quite quickly in the upcoming few weeks.
  • The back end of the bird (thighs, drumsticks, etc) remain quite high, but, as we see breast pricing reduce, we should see some pressure taken off the back of the bird.
  • Pricing validity should purely be based off warehouse cost and stock on hand and consideration to competitor pricing given when quoting during this falling market.
  • Imperative that we don’t over commit to stock holdings during this time, until the market flattens out.  

November Meat Market Update

November Meat Market Update
The price of meat in Australia is set to continue to increase into the Christmas period, industry insiders have warned, as lingering effects from the drought and Covid closures stifle the industry.
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