Cluny claims big gong
DONALD Trump’s opposition to renewable energy may be costing Australia’s redmeat industry millions of dollars.
Processors have blamed the sharp decline in prices for tallow, a rendered form of beef or mutton used in renewable energy systems, to the US President’s policies moving “away from renewables” and “back to coal generation”.
Meat and Livestock Australia figures show tallow prices have fallen from $1057 a tonne when Mr Trump took office in January to $677 a tonne in June, when he announced the US would withdraw from the Paris agreement on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
Prices have since eased further to about $600 a tonne.
At the time of the withdrawal from the Paris agreement, Mr Trump said a reliance on renewable energy would put his nation at “grave risk” of increased blackouts and power disruptions and stem economic growth.
With tallow valued at about $20 to $60 extracted from an adult animal at processing, the 43 per cent drop in Australian prices is hurting abattoirs.
Tallow prices are trading about $300 a tonne cheaper than this time last year and $310 a tonne down on the average of the previous 18 months.
However, Australian Renderers Association executive officer Dennis King said while the policies of Mr Trump may have had “a little bit” to do with the price slump, a correction had been inevitable.
“This has been on the cards for a couple of years,” he said.
The removal of tax credits on Australian tallow by a major buyer in Singapore after “significant pressure from the US fats and oil industry” had put pressure on prices. This forced Australian exporters back to traditional market of manufacturing soap, competing with the easing global price of palm stearin.
BIG MOMENT: Scott and Kate Bowden with their winning fleece at the Sheepvention in Hamilton.