JBS at Dinmore will remain closed this week due to a shortage of cattle
JBS at Dinmore will remain closed this week due to a shortage of cattle Inga Williams

JBS Dinmore to close for a week

ONE of Ipswich's biggest employers, JBS at Dinmore, will remain closed this week due to a shortage of cattle and continued volatility in the meat market.

Australia's cattle prices are amongst the highest in the world right now amongst uncertain times for business.

It's the first time that the Dinmore place has lost a week's production for at least five years, and the temporary closure affects no other processing plant under JBS.

The country's biggest beef plant, JBS at Dinmore currently processes around 1370 heads of cattle a shift, of which there are ten a week. It employs more than 1600 staff.

A number of single-site processors in NSW and Victoria have been running on substantially reduced weekly shifts over the past three weeks.

It is also a reflection of two years of continued drought across eastern Australia which has impacted cattle supply, which has resulted in prices rising over the past six weeks.

JBS Northern buyers were absent from last week's Dalby cattle sale, and a sequence of sales held earlier that week.

JBS Northern chief operating officer Anthony Pratt told industry site Beef Central that there would be a reassessment at the end of the week.

"Anything more than four days forward currently is a brave prediction," he said. "We will assess the situation again next week.

"This meat market has become just so volatile, it is impossible to predict any trend beyond next week."

Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said that there are issues going on at the moment with beef exports to China that need to be sorted out in Canberra.

"It's very sad and unfortunate that JBS is closing for a week," Mr Neumann said. "As I understand it about 20% of the export market goes to China. Yes there are other markets, but the relationship with the Chinese needs to handled better.

"We need the finance and the trade minister to patiently work with the Chinese authorities to resolve these issues.

"We are with the workers at JBS, it's too important for our local community, jobs are on the line here and we do not want them lost."

For more on this story:  https://www.beefcentral.com/news/nations-largest-processing-plant-to-skip-a-week-as-cattle-price-pressure-grows/