Australians have been warned that the price of meat, particularly beef, could skyrocket in supermarkets this year.
Woolworths CEO Bran Banducci has predicted “volatile” price changes for much of 2021, saying “we do expect to see continued meat price increases.”
Watch the video above for more about the meat price hike
The reason meat prices might increase is because the number of cattle slaughtered in the last three months is down more 24 per cent from its December 2019 peak.
That’s because farmers are taking advantage of favourable pastoral conditions and increased rainfall to rebuild their herds following the drought.
As a result, there is less meat to go around and prices are predicted to spike.
Australian Meat Industry Council CEO Patrick Hutchinson told Sunrise that despite the shortages, supermarket shoppers shouldn’t be too worried.
“What we’re seeing at the moment is a massive herd rebuild, but its occurring quite quickly,” he explained on Thursday.
Hutchinson is predicting a 2.3 per cent increase in cattle numbers by the end of the financial year, which paired with a “soft export market” due to the pandemic, means any price hikes should only be temporary.
He added that there was no need to stockpile meat due to fears of shortages.
“There’s absolutely no way the world’s most reliable red meat supply chain, being Australia, is in any danger at all of running out of any products.”
“We are rebuilding for a fantastic future and are going to be the leader around the world in regard to red meat supply,” he said.