The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

BU­L­AWAYO, Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 23, 1966 — Too many buy­ers in Mata­bele­land and the Mid­lands are chas­ing too few cat­tle. The present cat­tle sell­ing sea­son should be a rancher’s dream of bliss, but it’s likely to be a rancher’s night­mare for they have not the cat­tle to sell.

This was the opin­ion of many Mata­bele­land cat­tle­men, who said that the rancher also had to buy breed­ing stock to build up herds dec­i­mated by the drought. In the present un­prece­dented set up with Mata­bele­land and Mid­lands herds at min­i­mum nu­mer­i­cal ex­o­dus of the drought, the rancher must out-bid spec­u­la­tors if he is to re­main in busi­ness. Ev­ery cat­tle sale draws a crowd. Up and up go the prices.

Guar­an­teed Cold Stor­age Com­mis­sion prices have been left far be­hind and be­low. The trend is: “Higher yet!” The sea­son has su­per and choice (also known now as Chiller-2 and Chiller-3 and GAQ) seem to be reach­ing the Cold Stor­age Com­mis­sion in am­ple sup­plies, so butch­ers and cat­tle­men said yes­ter­day.

But on the mar­ket, where the prices are high­est, they are ex­tremely scarce. This is be­cause of the feed­ing pro­gramme of the pro­duc­ers who sell to the Clod Stor­age Com­mis­sion, sev­eral cat­tle­men said.

It is the short­age of qual­ity beef on the open mar­ket and the re­sult­ing high price spi­ral which is dom­i­nat­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic of this sea­son, said Mr BIS Tun­mer of Gwelo yes­ter­day. In com­par­i­son, the lower grades, com­pounds and FAQs are plen­ti­ful for this time of the year, on the open mar­ket he said.

A butcher in­ter­viewed yes­ter­day said that the an­i­mal most vi­tal to the econ­omy was the steer that graded GAQ, FAQ and Com­pound.

This type of meat was in keen de­mand through­out the world, he said. No­body seems to want the very top grade, Chiller-1 for­merly known as Rhode­sia’s Best. It is too fat for lo­cal or ex­port con­sump­tion.

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