JBS saga rolls on and on

BRAZIL Saga: Observers believe the Australian operations of JBS, our biggest cattle operator for slaughtering and feeding, will continue normally. Photo: FILE.

BRAZIL Saga: Observers believe the Australian operations of JBS, our biggest cattle operator for slaughtering and feeding, will continue normally. Photo: FILE.

The on-going saga involving the Brazilian beef monolith JBS seems to roll on and on.

Well-known American publisher Steve Kay has followed developments closely as a commentator, analyst and the editor of the US Cattle Buyers Weekly.

The column has already written about the fines and other upcoming legal challenges.

From an Australian point of view the flow-on effect to our industry is of far greater importance.

The largest business unit by far is JBS USA which under that umbrella has operations in Canada and Australia.

JBS is the second largest supplier of beef and pork in the United States and by far the biggest lot feeder in terms of chicken production, JBS fills the number two slot in the US.

In Canada, the company is the second largest beef processor and here on home soil it is recognised as our biggest cattle operator for slaughtering and feeding.

According to Mr Kay’s take none of JBS USA will be for sale with the American conglomerate generating massive cash flows through its beef, pork and chicken operation.

He considers this part of JBS will operate normally with very few restraints.

Mr Kay tempers his remarks by saying this has been a shocking year for the Batista family and one should not discount the fact that another startling revelation may be just around the corner.

Australia and New Zealand account for 70 per cent plus of global lamb exports which in 2016 fell to 27.6 million from a peak in the 1970s of above 70 million head.

When dieticians 20 years ago told the world fat was no good the New Zealand lamb producers, more so than Australian growers, embarked on a programme to produce a lamb carcase with minimal fat.

As exporters, this led apparently to loss of market share because it has been shown over the years a carcase with virtually no fat has reduced flavour.

In 2007 the government marketing groups and progressive farmers formed an alliance to breed a tastier more appealing lamb.

They tested 500 separate genetic lines searching for lambs that would contain high levels of intramuscular fat, providing a taste that flourishes in NZ’s harsh environment and do well on a number of introduced and native pastures.

The new breed, named Te Mana, after 10 years of dedicated experiment and selective breeding hit the export market last month.

Early sales suggest a positive response with some chefs suggesting their customers are willing to pay double for Te Mana lamb when compared to the normal run of Kiwi lamb.

Dubbo agents drew for 4160 cattle on June 15. While there were good runs of well finished cattle some of which were coming off oat crops to the east many plain cattle were available.

The money on offer from processors, feed-lotters and restockers was very good but at times it took some extracting.

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