Is roast lamb off the menu? Families can no longer afford to buy the meat because of the drought – as cutlets hit $70
- The worsening drought is putting lamb and other meat prices through the roof
- Butchers say meat prices are now ‘out of control’ with lamb the worst hit
- Last year, a kilo of lamb cutlets was $40 to $50, but now it’s between $60 – $70
As the worsening drought shows no signs of reprieve, the price of lamb and other meats are tipped to skyrocket even further.
Cattle farms have been devastated by the worst drought on record, with stations around Armidale and Walgett in New South Wales suffering through their driest two-year stint in history.
This has all but made a lamb dinner a thing of the past for some Aussie families, with butchers saying the big dry has had a huge impact on increasing meat prices.
Anthony Puharich, owner of Vic’s Meat and Victor Churchill in Sydney, told The Daily Telegraph the drought is as grim as it’s ever been.
‘Meat prices are out of control. You have to prepare yourself to eat less meat if you want to eat the same good quality.’
Last year, a kilogram of lamb cutlets were averaging at $40 to $50, but just a year on they’re going for between $60 and $70 per kilo
The drought is the worst on record for parts of Australia with farms that produce beef, lamb wheat and cotton
Last year, a kilogram of lamb cutlets were averaging at $40 to $50, but just a year on they’re going for between $60 and $70 per kilo.
MEAT’S HEFTY PRICE HIKES
2018 – Lamb cutlets $40-50/kg
Now – Lamb cutlets $60-70/kg
2018 – Rump steak $15-18
Now – Rump steak $24-27
2018 – pork belly $12-15/kg
Now – pork belly $20-22/kg
2018 – breast and thigh $12-14/kg
Now – breast and thigh $15-16/kg
‘The average punter needs to get ready for lamb — something we grew up eating and loving every Sunday when mum made a roast — to become a delicacy only eaten on special occasions, if things continue as they are,’ Mr Puharich said.
‘My father’s been in this industry for 50 years, 40 in Australia, and he’s never seen prices anything like this.’
Farmers are killing their cattle prematurely to avoid the cost of feeding them, resulting in a huge demand for mature stock.
In March, Sydney butcher Nathan Iowa told Daily Mail Australia there had been a 40 per cent price increase in red meat.
‘It’s cheaper for them to kill the animal before they’re ready to eat,’ he said.
Beef has also seen hefty price hikes since this time last year. In 2018, the average price of a rump steak was between $15 and $18.
But a year on, the tender steak will set customers back $24-27.
Beef has also seen hefty price hikes since this time last year. In 2018, the average price of a rump steak was between $15 and $18
However once the drought breaks prices aren’t expected to fall, as farmers who killed off their breeding stock compete with customers.
Pork lovers will also be slugged more than the $12-15/kg it cost last year – now costing an average of $20 to $22 per kilogram.
Keeping pigs alive has never been more expensive. Last year, grain to feed pigs cost around $200 a tonne, but now sets graziers back between $390 and $550 per tonne.