Red meat for the Reds

24 Apr, 2008 01:30 PM
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THE Russians have invaded Australia’s meat markets as demand for red meat across the globe is starting to drive some key countries to our shores to secure exports.

Russia last week hit the Australian market in a big way, ordering a reported 8000t of beef, including some from WA.

Fremantle-based exporter Carl Wheeler said the period from July to December last year was one of the worst for sales he has seen, but in the past three months things have changed dramatically.

Mr Wheeler said he was now exporting three times the volume of before Christmas.

“We started to get inquiries at the end of January and it hasn’t stopped since,” he said.

“Normally we would have $1 million to $1.5m worth of product on the water a month.

“At the moment we have $2.7m and orders worth $3.7m on the books.

“I haven’t seen demand at this level since 2003-04. Mr Wheeler said the demand was being caused by a European Union ban on certain Brazilian suppliers and the Russian order.

“The EU would normally be supplied by some 4000 farms, but that has been reduced to 90,” he said.

“This means abattoirs are not getting enough stock to carry out EU kills so the abattoirs cannot afford to keep doing it.”

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