Brad Holloway and his staff at Brads Butchery have seen beef prices double in the past 14 months. Photo Jamie Brown / The Northern Star
Brad Holloway and his staff at Brads Butchery have seen beef prices double in the past 14 months. Photo Jamie Brown / The Northern Star Jamie Brown

‘Steak the new lobster’ as beef prices skyrocket

STEAK is the new lobster, according to a Ballina chef who has seen beef prices skyrocket to double what the protein cost 14 months ago.

This surge in prices has also had Lismore butcher Brad Holloway of Brads Butchery halve the number of beasts he processes each week for sale.

"Beef has doubled in price in the past 14 months," he said.

"It was costing $3 a kilo for good yearling bodies landed in the shop and now it's averaging $6 a kilo.

"Eighteen months ago we were using 16 bodies a week is the Lismore store and now we are using eight, but our turnover of sausages and mince has increased."

Demand for good quality Aussie beef from around the world was the cause of the price surge, Mr Holloway said.

"Ever since the global markets opened up and China started buying a big portion of Australia's beef, the prices have been going up," he said.

"The supply and demand for Australian beef is right up there and I don't see it coming back the way the global markets are going, which is a good thing for cattle farmers."

Where do you buy your beef?

This poll ended on 25 April 2016.

Current Results

At the supermarket

21%

From a butcher

67%

Direct from a producer

0%

I don't, I'm vegetarian

10%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Customers have had to change their buying habits, Mr Holloway said, to avoid getting hit in the hip pocket.

"We have been selling more chicken, more pork, more mince, more sausages," he said.

"People have been buying more beef mince and more beef sausages since the prices went up."

Ballina RSL executive chef Blake Seymour said the club had to refine its menu since the beef price rise.

"We're right on the limit of our margins with selling beef so it's really hard to have a couple of nice steaks on the menu and not charge an arm and a leg for them at the moment," he said.

"Cuts like eye fillet steak have become like lobster, it's one of those things you use every so often because it's quite expensive."

Cheaper, secondary cuts of beef can still be a tasty alternative to eye or scotch fillet if cooked properly.

Slow cooking or braising chuck or blade steak in stews, ribs and skirt steak were cheaper alternatives for those who still want their beef, Mr Seymour said.

"You can seal the meat and make a stock or a sauce and cook the meat in that which makes it a lot more tender," he said.



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