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  • February Meat Market Update

February Meat Market Update

In a changing world, we all need to keep on top of the evolving meat industry. With prices jumping on some products, and plummeting on others, we've provided a comprehensive update for you here.

Beef:

Image of five pieces of steak

We have experienced a great start to 2021 with many of the major cattle growing regions of Australia receiving much needed rainfall over the past 4-5 weeks. Some of these regions have received almost 4 times the monthly average of rainfall with reports of over 250mm in some areas. These heavy rain falls have resulted in the growth of much need pasture for the cattle herds to graze on.

Whilst the positivity of good rainfalls and pasture regeneration is welcomed, we are still experiencing drastically low numbers of cattle going through our major saleyards and abattoirs, resulting in a negative demand/supply chain in our beef sector. This has been due to a couple of reasons; the closure of most of the processing plants during the festive season and many cattle farmers hanging onto their cattle now that they have had much needed rain to promote pasture for the herds to graze on. This reduced amount of stock is expected to continue until well into the year. With this limited availability, means pricing is going to remain high until well into 2021.

The retail sector has also experienced a large amount of pressure with ‘panic buying’ across some areas of the country due to COVID-19 outbreaks in the community. Lockdown announcements have resulted in many supermarket shelves being stripped bare of popular steak and value-added cuts. This added pressure of supply will also have an impact on the availability of meat moving into the next few weeks as supermarket chains scramble to replenish their stock levels.

Continue to speak with your meat supplier and ensure that you have products forward committed for the short term. Popular steak cuts, such as scotch fillet, porterhouse and tenderloin will be under high demand as summer menus continue in full swing.

Lamb:

Image is of cooked lamb cutlets on a plate

As we push forward into the year and leave our biggest lamb event of the year (Australia Day) behind us, many chefs will be continuing the theme of grilling cuts and salads as we bask in the warm weather that our beautiful country provides. Popular items like racks, cutlets and backstraps might prove shorter in supply as producers scramble to replenish stock levels since the festive season and Australia Day event.

Ensure that you are keeping in close communication with your meat supplier to ensure that sought after cuts are available and in stock. Opportunities are available for creative chefs to use less sought after cuts (shoulders, necks, spareribs) in different ways to create culinary masterpieces.

Speak with us today to explore the options available to you.

Pork:

This is a photo of raw pork steaks

As the Chinese New Year approaches in the upcoming few weeks, expect to see highly desirable cuts like bellies, collar butts and shoulders come under extreme supply pressure as these cuts are sold heavily into the Asian restaurant sector. Added to this pressure, we have the reduced numbers of pigs during the hotter months of the year, which will prove difficult until the weather starts to cool off.

Many suppliers will have some frozen options tucked away in their freezers that might come in handy to run specials on your menu. Explore opportunities with more secondary cuts like striploins, tenderloins and riblets. These options might allow you to continue offering a good range of pork lines on your menu and avoid the pressures of highly desirable cuts for this time of year.

Ensure that you communicate closely with your meat supplier on your requirements for pork during the upcoming few weeks.

Poultry:

Cooked chicken is pictured in this frame

Poultry continues to be battered and bruised by the supply and pricing pressures of the other protein markets. It has also come under a large amount of pressure in the retail sector with the small outbreaks of COVID-19 in some communities and the ‘panic buying’ we have seen as many consumers rush to fill their freezers with affordable protein stocks.

It is likely that we are going to see higher than normal pricing for poultry over the next 4-8 weeks as manufacturers try to fulfil the demands of the retail sector as well as the foodservice distributors.

There are many frozen options available that can be a great way to help reduce food costs in the kitchen. Speak to your meat supplier about options available to you in frozen cuts to assist in keeping a consistent supply chain, as well as reducing some food costs on your menus.

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