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Thursday, 14 October 1971
Page: 2346

Mr KATTER (KENNEDY, QUEENSLAND) - Will the Minister for Trade and Industry indicate the current position regarding our beef exports to the United States of America? Is it possible to forecast whether we will meet the quota requirements? If not, will the quota negotiations for 1972 be affected in any way?

Mr ANTHONY - Last week there was a meeting between exporters and the Australian Meat Board to determine what would be the amount of exports to the American market for this year. Because of several factors - a big one has been the dock strike in America - we have been running behind schedule with our exports to that country. I think that up to that date we had about another 40,000 tons to export to the United States. There is meat on the water. Just what the final figure will be I cannot say at the moment, but as soon as we have information on this we intend letting the American administration know what the shortfall might be so that we will maini'uU its confidence and so that when we commence negotiations for next year we will certainly be able to hold the quota that we have this year or, I believe, get an extension of it. As I mentioned, the factors affecting our exports were, firstly, the dock strike, which has reacted adversely against our exports and about which we could do nothing and, secondly, the good seasons that have prevailed in some parts of Australia, where there has been a tendency to hold stock back and to breed up numbers. There is quite an increase in stock numbers in Australia and our potential to export more in the future is great. So I think that the Americans ought to realise that, although there has been some temporary slackening of our exports to America it has not been altogether our fault and it is no indication of what the long-term tendency will be.

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