• December Meat Market Update

December Meat Market Update

The Festive Season is here, so we've provided a comprehensive guide into all things protein for your Centre of Plate delights. From pork to poultry, and cattle to chops - here's everything you need to know for our December Meat Market Update. 


Image of five pieces of steak

The Australian beef industry has continued to prove challenging as we approach the busiest period of the year, the festive season. With the imminent shutdown of all our major abattoirs and boning rooms over the Christmas / New Year break, the tight supply chain will become even more tight during this time.

Added to this pressure, the easing of COVID – 19 restrictions around the country will result in many of the southern states residents, looking to get out of lockdown and descend upon our major dining precincts. This increase in casual dining around the country will continue to pressure the supply chain over the next few months.

With tight availability on many of the coveted sweet-cuts (scotch fillets, OP Ribs, Porterhouse, Rumps and tenderloins) continuing, it is more important now than ever before, to closely communicate with your meat supplier and ensure that you are forward committing to stock, to ensure you have enough product committed to get you through this festive season.

Committing to volumes of products now, will save you from the festive season pressure. It is expected that the pricing increases that we have experienced in the second half of this year (60%+ increases) will continue into the new year.
The utilization of more secondary cuts, forward committing on volume products and having flexibility to improvise on your menu will be the key to help get you through this festive season.


Image is of cooked lamb cutlets on a plate

There have been some very positive signs with lamb over the past month with good numbers of sheep being produced through our many abattoirs around the country.

December is the month to start to forward thinking towards the New Year, when we have our biggest lamb event on the calendar, Australia Day. More than ever, it is critical to be thinking in advance about your menus and potential products with your meat suppliers, to ensure you can sure up supply before the Christmas shutdown. After the recent lamb productions, there are good numbers of racks, loin meat and leg meat available on the market.

Cuts like cutlets, loin chops, backstraps and pulled lamb are great summer menu ideas and can provide a fantastic compliment to vibrant, flavoursome salads.

Communicate with your account managers and start the conversations to ensure you lock in your lamb requirements for the new year, so you do not run out of lamb to throw on the BBQ!


This is a photo of raw pork steaks

Pig numbers continue to decrease as we enter the hottest 3 months of the year. As we approach the Christmas and New Year holidays, pork production will almost halve, meaning one of the most affordable proteins in the country, will become harder to get until production re-ignites in the New Year.

Pork demand has remained unseasonably high in the past few months, as many food outlets search for affordable products to put on their menus, due to the price volatility of the beef and lamb industries.

If you have been using pork as the ‘price-substitute protein’ and wish to continue this trend during the next month or two, it is highly recommended that you maintain good communication with your meat supplier to ensure you have stock forward committed during the festive closures.

Many suppliers will have some frozen pork tucked away in their freezers that can be used to help with under supply challenges during the Christmas / New Year break.

Shoulder meat continues to be the most available secondary cut for imaginative chefs to utilise and save some money on their menus. Other products in abundance that can be great for ‘summer dishes’ is the tenderloin (pork fillet). This can be a great cut to use while serving with a clean crisp salad during these hotter months.


Cooked chicken is pictured in this frame

Poultry has continued to hold its pricing in the market over the past month. Poultry has been another protein that has been heavily relied upon as a cheaper protein on many of the menus across the nation due to the beef industry price and availability pressures.

Many of the major poultry manufacturers are back to 75% or full production now and we are seeing decent numbers of birds coming through our processing facilities.

Whilst the production numbers on birds have increased, the demand in the market has equally increased, which is causing the consistent price in the market. The retail sector exhausts much of the weekly production on fresh chicken and with Foodservice outlets starting to re-ignite since the recent lockdowns, securing stock early is more important than ever.

There are any good buys available with your suppliers on frozen product. Make sure to ask your meat suppliers for deals on frozen poultry to help save costs for your menus.

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