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Sheepmeat Council : Sheepmeat 2013
6 SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA ANNUAL MUSTER 2013 Ian McColl President SHEEPMEAT COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA President’s Report This publication is just one way that Sheepmeat Council provides information to our stakeholders. It's not a comprehensive review of the last 12 months, but hopefully gives you some insight into the work we have been doing. In the most important of our activities -- market access -- the sheepmeat industry has for the second year in a row achieved record levels of exports. Growing demand from our traditional markets in the Middle East and United States has occurred alongside strong growth in our emerging markets in Asia, particularly China. The strong demand outlook for sheepmeat is positive for the future of the industry. Difficult seasonal conditions over the last year across many sheep producing regions have placed a huge strain on producers. Low rainfall and high temperatures over summer meant there was very limited feed to finish stock in early 2013. After several years of flock rebuilding, many producers had to sell off unfinished stock. In Western Australia dry conditions combined with a decline in live exports and continued to put pressure on prices. This had a flow on effect on prices in the eastern states. Fortunately, increases in supply during this period were partially offset by demand from overseas markets. The record volumes of product shipped to China and the Middle East helped support prices. Prices strengthened throughout winter reflecting a tightening supply of finished stock and strong underlying demand. The report on Council activities over the page provides a snapshot of the past twelve months. OJD and live export had a particular focus and occupied much of our attention during the year. This year we hope to move the focus away from OJD as a specific policy issue and have it dealt with as part of a broader disease management approach. This includes supporting increased focus on biosecurity, abattoir monitoring and other tools such as the sheep health statement which can help producers make more informed on-farm decisions. In live export we will continue our efforts with the trade to meet the requirements of the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) and assist our customers in export destinations to adapt to changing circumstances. For the coming year, we will be starting the planning process for the Sheepmeat Industry Strategic Plan 2015-20. An important role for Council is to provide clear direction for levy expenditure, especially R&D and for the long term direction for the industry as a whole. In the meantime I hope you enjoy our Annual Muster and wish you well for the year ahead. Welcome to our Annual Muster 2013.