Supply issues lead to Australian plant cutbacks

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Supply and demand shortages have been attributed to a dry spring in 2014
Supply and demand shortages have been attributed to a dry spring in 2014

Related tags Australia Lamb

A lamb supply shortage and poor international demand have forced leading Australian processors to scale back production.

JBS Australia is to stand down 260 staff and half lamb production at its abattoirs in Bordertown, Southern Australia and Brooklyn, Victoria, while Fletchers International has closed its Dubbo plant for a week.

The supply issue was attributed to a dry spring in 2014 with stocks being reduced to remain viable.

John Berry, JBS Australia chief executive said: “These are unfortunately the challenges the processing sector owners face and we continue to adapt our business to changing conditions, whether it is contraction or expansion.”

Berry hoped the cuts were only temporary and that the markets would bounce back with demand increasing.

“This is not a long-term decision,”​ he said. “We’ve had to make this call and hopefully we can be back processing to full capacity as soon as possible.

“People have got to understand – and I’m sure producers do – that even with a spread of domestic and international customers, lamb internationally is still a niche product in demand terms.”

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