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Victorian livestock processing to remain restricted

9 September 2020 |Publications

Since early August, Victorian abattoirs with more than 25 staff have been restricted to 67 per cent daily peak and daily workforce capacity, affecting 120 facilities in the state. These restrictions are set to continue under the Victorian Government’s ‘Roadmap to Reopening’ with meat processing to remain ‘heavily restricted’ under the first three steps.

Rural Bank has examined the current state of livestock processing in Victoria and provided an outlook into Spring.

Victoria is an important livestock processing state, accounting for 49 per cent of all lamb and sheep in 2019. While cattle and sheep will be the least affected by the restrictions, due to predicted tight supply, lamb will be severely affected as spring is the peak supply period for lambs.

This means that spring will be a painful time for Victorian lamb producers who have experienced the best season in years after multiple years of drought but will now likely receive weaker prices due to reduced buyer competition at saleyards. Producers are expected to hold onto lambs in response to low prices, which could cause a backlog once processor restrictions ease.

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