Beef prices surge ahead

50-YEAR veteran of the Tasmanian livestock industry says he has never seen beef prices soar to today’s levels.

“The beef market is in a purple patch,” Greenham group livestock manager Graeme Pretty told an agri-forum in Smithton this week.

“We can’t supply enough beef for world demand,” he said.
“We have something that everyone wants.”

Depleted herds and a worldwide shortage of protein are among the reasons driving livestock prices to levels not seen before, says an experienced livestock buyer.

Greenham group livestock manager Graeme Pretty told an agri-forum in Smithton the livestock prices are the dearest in living memory.

Mr Pretty, who has been a livestock buyer for more than 50 years, started with Greenham in 1970.

“The beef market is in a purple patch. I’ve been in this job since 1970 and prices are dearest in living memory,” Mr Pretty said.
“The price surge is driven by several factors including drought which depleted herds and we are now in a massive rebuild of herds. Combine this with a world shortage of protein is driving prices here.
“Tasmania has always had a good beef, but it wasn’t until Peter Greenham came here to start marketing it correctly and took it into the prime beef market.

Peter created the Cape Grim beef brand and is doing a marvellous job promoting Tasmanian beef.

The world wants what we have here.

“Australia has a good name for good, clean beef and the world is hungry for Australian beef.

“We can’t supply enough beef for world demand.

“We have something that everyone wants.”

Greenham is 100 per cent Australian owned and has three abattoirs at Greenham Tongala, Smithton and Moe in Gippsland.

“We draw cattle from everywhere in Australia” Mr Pretty said.

The family-owned Greenham Smithton, Tongala and Gippsland operations buy livestock from more than 9000 mainland and Tasmanian suppliers through live weight buying centres or “over the hooks” trading at their plants.

The Tongala plant is finishing a $50 million rebuild and will be back online mid next year.

“Once that is done, through all the plants, we can process 10,000 cattle a week.”

The Smithton operation processes prime beef.

Tongala processes mainly cast-for-age dairy cows for boxed beef export to the USA, Moe processes a combination of cows, bulls and premium cattle.

Leave a Reply