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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4569

Mr Grassby asked the Minister for Primary Industry, upon notice:

(1)   Has the Australian Meat Board announced that the 1971 meat quota for the United States of America was 15,000 tons short.

(2)   If so, can he say whether this quota has been re-allocated to other countries including Ireland' and New Zealand.

(3)   Have cattle prices dropped in some instances by as much as $25 a head as a result of this short-fall in exports to the United States of America.

(4)   Has the short-fall been the result of poor trading by Australia and inadequate initiative by the Meat Board.

(5)   Has an inquiry been carried out as a result of the short-fall; if so, with what results.

(6)   If an inquiry has not been carried out, will he initiate one immediately.

Mr Sinclair - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   Yes.

(3)   An examination of auction prices at the Sydney and Melbourne selling centres shows that prices for slaughter cattle in November declined by aproximately $1 per 100 lb on October levels. This decline is considerably less than $25 per bead and cannot be specifically related to any angle course.

(4)   No.

(5)   and (6) No. The reasons for the shortfall, which are already known 'to both the Government and the Australian Meat Board, arise from the dock strike in the United States, the economic measures imposed in that country and the international currency crises arising from those economic measures.

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