New rules to af­fect sheep prices

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS -

Pro­posed new rules that aim to im­prove live ex­port stan­dards could slug farm­ers and ex­porters up to $25 a sheep go­ing to the Mid­dle East, cast­ing fur­ther un­cer­tainty over the vi­a­bil­ity of the in­dus­try.

The long-awaited draft op­tions for im­prov­ing the Aus­tralian Stan­dards for the Ex­port of Live­stock were re­leased last week for stake­holder feed­back, and said in its fi­nan­cial and eco­nomic anal­y­sis, that if ex­porters wanted to main­tain cur­rent mar­gins, sheep prices would have to fall $15-$25 a head, de­pend­ing on the time of year.

That amount is con­sid­er­able given WA farm­ers were paid an av­er­age sale price of $117 for ex­port wethers at sales dur­ing 2018.

How­ever, the re­port says it is most likely costs would be shared be­tween farm­ers and ex­porters, as farm­ers would not wear the costs alone be­cause they had other op­tions given the cur­rent prices for wool and lamb on the do­mes­tic mar­ket.

It went on to say it was un­re­al­is­tic to ex­pect cus­tomers to ab­sorb the dif­fer­ence, be­cause these coun­tries have other op­tions for sourc­ing sheep and al­ready did so. Most of the in­creased cost comes through the re­quire­ment for re­duced stock­ing den­si­ties.

The draft re­port and re­vised draft stan­dards are open for feed­back un­til Novem­ber 27.

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