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positive vibes at beef week

There’s an air of grounded positivity in the cattle industry, according to revellers at the Beef Australia Expo in Rockhampton, despite mixed conditions on either side of the supply chain.

Speaking to ANZ Institutional on video at one of the first large-scale industry events held in person since the beginning of the pandemic, Fulton Market Group General Manager Connor FitzGerald said high beef prices had delivered mixed fortunes.

“If you're a cattle farmer at the moment, then things are extremely fortunate,” he said. “Prices are very high and the outlook's very, very good.”

“Conversely, if you're a meat packer, you're not having much fun at all.”

ANZ Regional Executive Lisa Hewitt said the cattle sector was looking “exceptionally positive for the next five years”.

“That's come off the back of some pretty tough times right across Australia for the beef industry,” she said, noting floods, drought and of course, the pandemic.

Supply conditions remain tight, according to Fitzgerald, with 2021 “from an annual production perspective, expected to be one of the lowest for beef production years”.

Hewitt said ANZ expects cattle prices to stay elevated, and the bank remains committed to supporting its customers across the supply chain.

“The beef industry has experienced really great prices over the last couple of years and we're expecting that… to continue,” she said. “At the moment we’re trying to support our customers to get themselves into a position to really take advantage of that.”

FitzGerald said like many in the sector, Fulton was responding the uncertainty of 2020 by installing contingency plans in the event of further issues.

“There was so much volatility and uncertainty thrown up by the pandemic that we're looking to… implement various resiliency measures that will enable us to weather the storm should another black-swan event like COVID-19 happen again,” he said.

Watch the video above to hear more.

The good news for beef

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