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Tuesday, 7 December 1965

Mr McEWEN - Meat is sold freely in this country, much of it by the auctioning of livestock, and the ruling prices flow largely from the supply and demand situation, overlaid by the prices offered for export meat. The character of the drought had the effect of diminishing the availability of some kinds of meat and increasing the availability of other kinds. As a result the prices of certain kinds of meat rose during the drought. When the drought breaks satisfactorily the graziers who have run down their flocks and herds will, as much as they are able, abstain from offering their stock for sale for slaughter and will try to breed up their herds again. In addition, graziers will enter the auction yards to bid against butchers for certain kinds of stock for the purpose of restocking. I expect that the normal consequences will follow and that meat prices will tend to move upwards rather than downwards as a first reaction to the breaking of the drought. In due course, however, when fat cattle and fat sheep are more freely available there will be a relapse of prices.

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