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.