December 23, 2008
South Africa's demand for cheaper beef could be beneficial to Australian beef producers.
South Africa is a net importer of beef, and there is a high demand for cheaper forequarter chops, said National Australia Bank agribusiness spokesman Khan Horne.
That is a cheaper part of the carcass, which could be an export opportunity as long as the higher Australian dollar and production costs do not price Australia's producers out of the market, said Horne.
South Africa imports most of its beef from South America and is nearly boned out, due to its Foot-and-Mouth-Disease status.
Producers in South Africa breed small-boned females with a high calving rate, and they are looking for an animal that is generally younger and lighter at about one year old, said Horne.
South African beef cattle breeds such as the Bonsmara, Beefmaster and the traditional Bos indicus provide an opportunity to expand Australia's cattle genetic pool as those breeds are well-adapted to drier weather conditions, said Horne.