‘Wall of US meat’ early next year will impact Australia’s cattle and meat fortunes, webinar told

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A ‘wall of meat’ is building in the United States in coming months, which will inevitably impact pricing for Australian cattle and beef early next year, warns independent meat and livestock analyst Simon Quilty.

The problem stems from the enormous back-log of cattle that has built up in the US beef industry since the onset of COVID-19, which has forced meat packing plant closures and created an alarming buildup of ‘unprocessed’ cattle in the system.

Close to 1.5 million slaughter-ready US cattle had been pushed back because of COVID impacts, he said.

Presenting a webinar hosted by NSW Local Land Services last night, Mr Quilty said some recent weeks had seen US cattle slaughterings down 35-40pc on normal production at this time of year, and as a result, US cattle prices had fallen 20 percent or more. At the same time, US retail prices, in response to lower production, had skyrocketed, he said.

“The net effect of those US cattle being held back has changed the global beef market,” Mr Quilty said.

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