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Australian supply chain shortages impact red meat

19 January 2022

Slaughter down, prices stable

According to a report by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), shopping centres across the country have been selling out of groceries and other essentials, the result of staff shortages from COVID-19 isolations rules for positive tests and close contacts.

Slaughter has also been impacted by staff shortages. MLA reported national cattle slaughter was at 41,678 head, 65% below the same week in 2020 and 41% lower than last year's figures. Low slaughter is expected at this time of year, as some plants close during Christmas.

In the meat processing sector, under new rules, those determined to be a close contact may leave isolation to work provided they show no symptoms and do a daily rapid antigen test, said MLA.

The reduction in slaughter hasn't impacted sale yard prices. National indicators show the prices for most categories remain relatively stable.


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