Joanita Wibowo

Money & Banking

Shoppers beware: The cost of a lamb roast has just skyrocketed

Shoppers beware: The cost of a lamb roast has just skyrocketed

Lamb and beef prices have soared up across Australia as cattle production continues to take hammering from the droughts and increasing export demand.

Coles, Woolworths and ALDI confirmed that the wholesale cost of beef and lamb had increased, with the typical 2.5kg lamb roast being priced at nearly $34. Meanwhile, prices of beef scotch fillet rose up to $35 per kilogram at major supermarkets.

“The drought has increased the price of beef and lamb on livestock markets and we’ve been working to absorb as much of these cost pressures as we can over the past year,” said Woolworths head of meat Chris Croese.

“We understand the cost-of-living pressures facing Australian families and continue to focus on delivering competitive meat prices for our customers.”

An ALDI spokeswoman also said the retailer had to change the prices accordingly. “All of our fresh meat products are 100 per cent Australian sourced, however weather conditions including the drought do impact our supply chain. We adjust the price of our fresh meat according to market conditions.”

Prices at independent butchers have also climbed, with businesses in Sydney telling the Daily Telegraph that they had to raise the prices of red meat by as much as 15 per cent in the past 18 months.

“There has been a 25 per cent increase on red meat prices from suppliers in the past 18 months,” said Todd McFarland of McFarland’s Quality Meats.

The cost of red meat has surged following the pressures from the Eastern States drought and growing international demand.

Apart from red meat, the drought has also driven up prices of fruits and vegetables.

The growing demand for meat from China, Japan and Korea also played a part in the price hike. Over the past year, export of red meat to China has increased 48 per cent to 162,682 tonnes while the volumes sent to Korea and Japan have increased by 15 per cent and 8 per cent respectively.

“Drought is impacting on supply to our international markets, so they are likely to try and maintain their supply, which will push prices up and impact on prices in our domestic markets,” Robert Herrman, managing director of agricultural forecaster Mecardo told the Daily Telegraph.

What do you think about the rising cost of red meat? Let us know in the comments below.