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Global Cattle Prices Race, But Australia is Lagging

04 July 2008

AUSTRALIA - As world cattle prices continue to soar, Australian cattle prices continue on their downward trend. Now, ABA Chairman, Brad Bellinger is calling for a full Royal Commission into Australia's beef industry to turn things around.

He said 'US cattle prices are approaching record levels and their feeder steer is bringing over 40% more than its Australian equivalent. UK prices are at record levels and rising fast and Brazilian prices for forequarter beef have almost doubled since October'.

Australian prices have fallen 15% in the past year and is now at the lowest level in the developed world. Australia is not suffering from oversupply, as it won't go near filling the US beef quota. Brazil is shipping many times Australia's tonnage into Russia, yet Australian cattlemen are being paid 15% less than they were a year ago.


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"This time they have gone too far and are killing the 'Goose that lays the Golden Egg"
ABA Chairman, Brad Bellinger

Mr Bellinger continued, 'We are paying almost five times the US producer levy to an unrepresentative and unaccountable MLA, plus we are paying hundreds of millions of dollars for a failed NLIS system that was meant to see us lead the world in market access and despite this, we are coming last'.

He said, 'ABA research and our submission tendered to the ACCC Inquiry into Groceries have shown that the Australian supermarkets have by far the highest mark-up in the world, as they rort Australian consumers and producers.'

He continued, 'I know that we live in the land of Ned Kelly and unregulated corporate price gouging is rampant but this time they have gone too far and are killing the 'Goose that lays the Golden Egg'.

The Australian Beef Association claim that Australia is surviving on the sale of public infrastructure, the sale of businesses and Australian minerals; - "when these run out, we will find we have destroyed our agricultural industry and end up with nothing; - similar to Nauru." Farms are up for sale Australia wide.

'Considering the above facts, we call on Minister Burke to establish a Royal Commission into the Meat Industry,' stated Mr Bellinger.

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