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Monday, March 27, 2023

Big beef export port still out of action

After devastating floods, Australia’s largest beef export port at the mouth of the Brisbane River has limited activity again.

However, it could take another week or more for operations to return to normal, which could force some exporters to rethink the logistics of time- and temperature-sensitive shipments such as chilled beef to high-end markets such as Japan.

The Port of Brisbane has been closed since 28 February and, in its latest statement, said that while the river conditions were improving, the regional harbor master and hydrographic survey and operations teams were still concerned about navigational area obstructions such as debris and shoals. Searching.

See more:Beef exports lag due to floods and Omicron takes a toll

Meat industry consultant Stephen Martin said the slow and gradual return to normal activities at this port was likely to affect the export logistics of each processor in Queensland, and others further.

“In previous years, some carriers from major export markets would call at North Queensland ports to service markets such as the United States, but these days the major container lines only call in Brisbane as part of their global service, so containers are consolidated. Will have to do it through Brisbane,” he said.

All plants consolidating shipments through Brisbane are indirectly affected by the disaster, whether or not they are directly affected by the floods, he said.

“The port authority has been doing a great job over the past few weeks in managing the risks involved and advising everyone so that operations can return to normal as soon as possible,” he added.

Individual processing plants were now beginning to assess damage, significant costs of recovery, staff issues and disrupted logistics and transportation, Mr Martin said.

The Australian Meat Industry Council said the severity of the impact ranged from loss of processing days to widespread damage to processing and supply infrastructure.

Chief Executive Officer Patrick Hutchinson said the impact on both the processing and production sectors would be huge.

And it comes on top of other serious challenges, including the Omicron wave and the continuing shortage of cattle.

“The whole post-farmgate meat supply chain is wondering how long this could take,” he said.

See more:

Slaughter reporting from Meat & Livestock Australia has been halted since the floods hit, but numbers are expected to be down for a few weeks, as has Cellyard throughput.

The flooding also closed important roads in NSW and Queensland, affecting the ability of producers to send cattle to cellyards or processors. Some of these roads remain closed.

Thomas Alders Markets reported that yarding levels in Queensland were more than halved last week, contributing to a national decline of 36 per cent with only 30,305 heads sold.

TEM reported that compared to this week in 2021, volumes were down by 26 pc and weekly throughput was running soft at around 41 pc, looking at the five-year average trend.

Legislator analysts said demand for restokers in central and western Queensland – where there were significant rainfall events but no flooding – drove up the price of young cattle in places such as Roma Up.

  • For a comprehensive analysis on Australia’s beef export markets and processing business, check out Stephen Martin’s Over the Hook column in this week’s Queensland Country Life and the Land.

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The story Big Beef export port is still out of action first appeared on Farm Online.

World Nation News Desk
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