• November Meat Market Update

November Meat Market Update

In a changing world, we all need to keep on top of the evolving meat industry. With prices jumping on some products, and plummeting on others, we've provided a comprehensive update for you here.


Image of five pieces of steak

The Australian cattle market continues to find itself in unchartered territory, with many varying factors impacting the red meat industry since the early part of this year. The continued uncertainty with domestic demand caused by COVID-19 outbreaks around our domestic marketplace as well as the restocking of our national herd are providing cattle supply deficiencies.

Despite the easing of restrictions in several key markets, COVID-19 will continue to disrupt the consumption of Australian red meat, both domestically and internationally.
We have seen increases of more than 60% year on year in the red meat industry and the short-term outlook is that this trend will not change. Demand will also increase as we approach the festive season and with the southern states coming out of lockdown and a re-opening of many restaurants and food outlets, the pressure on an already suffering market, will continue to mount.

Expect to continue to see short supply on many of your popular steak cuts (Rumps, Scotch Fillet, Striploin and Tenderloin), as well as unpredictable price fluctuations well into the New Year. Many of these cuts have seen increases of close to 70% in recent times.

Keeping regular contact with your account managers is the best way to discuss alternative cuts that can help to provide cost saving to your menus. Utilizing more secondary cuts can help to reduce costs on your menu.


Image is of cooked lamb cutlets on a plate

Encouraged by record lamb prices for much of 2019–20, improved seasonal conditions and higher productivity, sheep producers appear to have commenced rebuilding our national flock, which is currently the lowest we have seen for almost 100 years.

Global market conditions remain unpredictable, particularly due to the impact of COVID-19 and its influence on foodservice industries around the world. These dining outlets are usually a key channel for Australian sheep meat, due to Australia’s status as a leading supplier of high-quality lamb into global markets.

For high-end foodservice outlets, a full-scale return to pre-COVID-19 demand is unlikely in the short-term, however, some promising signs have recently appeared across a select few markets.

As we transition into the warmer months of the year, many of the lamb cuts under pressure will come from your loin meat. Cutlets, racks and mid-loins are traditionally ‘summer’ cuts and with the lower than average amount of lamb being produced, these cuts will come under price pressure. Other cuts such as legs and shoulders, can provide some cost saving opportunities for imaginative chefs.


This is a photo of raw pork steaks

As we continue to approach the warmer months of the year, we will see a reduction in the number of pigs going through production. This will result in an increase in pricing on raw materials for the next few months.

Pork has also come under a large amount of supply pressure of recent times, as food outlet operators search for affordable proteins to serve on their menus. This has been a direct result of the pricing and supply impacts from both beef and lamb.

Added to these pressures, we have large supply deficiencies on both legs and middles, as many manufacturers produce the large requirements for Christmas hams and bacon. This will result in an increase in pricing across legs, loins, and bellies.

Cost saving opportunities come from the shoulder and with summer approaching, low and slow menu ideas with pulled and slow cooked pork could provide a cost saving opportunity.


Cooked chicken is pictured in this frame

Poultry has remained quite firm in the market over the past few months. Due to the enormous pressure we have seen across the beef and lamb industries, many chefs have turned to poultry to help assist with menu costing relief.

Unfortunately, with many of our major poultry production facilities based in Victoria, we have not seen the consistency of numbers coming through production in recent times. Hopefully now with Victoria slowly coming out of lockdown, we can see a return to normal production of birds through these facilities and a consistent stock supply maintained.

Maintaining continual communication with your supply partner on stock levels and looking to investment purchase extra stock, is the best way to ensure a consistent supply channel during these tough times.