Credit Squeeze on Australian Meat Exports

AUSTRALIA - The real hurt from the global financial crisis might just be starting to hit agribusiness, with reports beef and lamb exports are starting to pile up at some international ports because importers can’t afford to pay.
calendar icon 6 November 2008
clock icon 1 minute read

Stories are trickling back to Australia of importers being refused credit and reluctantly reneging on contracts, leaving tonnes of mostly perishable goods stranded in countries like Russia, South Africa, China, India, Italy and the Middle East, reports TheLand.

According to the news agency, farmers are being told the “fundamentals” for agriculture are still strong because food demand and a lower Australian dollar should help keep the sector buoyant during this turmoil.

Yet credit freezes and a slump in consumer confidence overseas could whack key rural commodities in the next few months – leaving exporters and farmers severely out of pocket.

Weakening export demand is partly behind a price fall in cattle prices which are now down 10 to 15 per cent from their peaks in September, with the benchmark Eastern Young Cattle Indicator falling from 362 cents a kilogram (carcase weight) at the start of last month to 326c/kg yesterday.

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