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Why we missed the invite to a 'cattle price party'
(Thursday, 10 April 2014 - ABC News)

The world is after more beef, and global cattle prices have been reflecting this, except in Australia.

Aussie cattle producers are getting nowhere near the price hikes being enjoyed by other major beef producing nations like the US and Brazil.

Over the past year, cattle prices have risen in Uruguay by 26 per cent, Brazil by 20 per cent, New Zealand by 31 per cent and the US by 24 per cent.

Chief economist for Meat and Livestock Australia, Tim McRae, says Australia is missing out on a 'cattle price party'.

"Australian cattle producers' taste of this rising market has been non-existent, but for very clear reasons." he said.

"We've had such a surge in cattle supply over the last 18 months, which has put so much pressure on prices.

"The industry has been processing or shipping out cattle as fast as they can, but still the numbers keep coming out because of the drought conditions through Queensland and northern NSW, and it's just kept prices suppressed back to the producer. It's as simple as that."

Australia processed and exported nearly 10 million head of cattle last year, a turn-off rate not seen in Australia's beef sector since the 1970s.



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