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Tuesday, 12 September 1972
Page: 1239

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

(1)   Is it a fact that wholesale prices of lamb have risen by, up to 10c per pound over prices prevailing in August 1971 and butcher shop prices have risen in the same period by as much as 12c per pound.

(2)   Will he provide urgently, information as to the average prices received by fat lamb producers in each State during June, July and August 1972 the average to include the entire range of lambs available.

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

(1)   As the Commonwealth Statistician does not publish a wholesale price index for meat and the latest retail prices relate to the June quarter of this year it is not possible to answer the first part of the question for Australia as a whole. However, information on wholesale and retail prices for lamb in New South Wales up to mid-August (latest available) were obtained from the New South Wales Department of Agriculture and these have been used to give an indication of the national situation.

Wholesale prices for light lambs and suckers at Homebush saleyards show that the average July 1972 price was 3.06c/lb above July 1971.

Final figures are not available for August this year however, details for the first 2 weeks show the Sydney wholesale price for light lambs (under 36 lb) was on the order of 6c/ lb above the August 1971 level.

An examination of retail price levels for different cuts of lamb show that in July, 1972 the average monthly price of legs and leg chops were 7c/lb and 6c/lb, respectively, above year earlier levels. However, the price of loin chops, neck chops, and sides were1c/lb, 2c/Ib and1c/lb respectively, below year earlier levels whilst the price of fore-quarters in July 1972 remained at the same level as in July 1971. The New South Wales Department of Agriculture did not have details of retail prices for August 1972 but it is expected that increases in average monthly retail prices for lamb will occur and will be in excess of August 1971 levels.


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