Long-held fears that the Wagyu beef industry may head into a period of over-supply – particularly for F1 feeder cattle of questionable genetic merit – are being realised, with some dramatic corrections being seen in the feeder market
With individual Wagyu steak serves now selling for $600 in metropolitan city restaurants, the task of judging the quality and characteristics of Wagyu in branded beef competitions can no longer be taken lightly. It was with this challenge in mind that judges lined up last week to rank entries in the 2018 Wagyu branded beef competition.
A major western QLD property and cattle deal which settled yesterday has projected Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting further up the ranks in terms of Australia’s, and the world’s largest Wagyu cattle producers. But just how far?
Australia’s production of Wagyu beef is expected to grow significantly in the next five years, however at a slightly less rapid rate than previously predicted, results of the 2017 Australian Wagyu Association member survey suggest.
One of the highlights for participants on the recently-returned Japan Wagyu trade mission organised by the Australian Wagyu Association was the opportunity to visit the All Japan Wagyu Show (Zenkyo) held this year in Sendai, north of Tokyo. Think Brisbane or Sydney show stud beef judging, on steroids. These images capture some of the event’s colour and pagentry.
In one of the larger Wagyu cattle deals seen in the past 18 months, Victoria’s respected Goshu Fullblood Wagyu herd is shifting to Queensland, following its purchase by a wealthy Australian-based businessman who is just entering the Wagyu industry.
A yawning gap has emerged in tariff levels between Australian and US imported frozen beef in the Japanese market, but demand or price for Australian beef is yet to show any significant rise as a result, Japan Wagyu tour participants were told this week.
ONE of Japan’s showcase artificial breeding facilities was an eye-opener for Australian industry stakeholders during the opening stages of the 2017 Japan Wagyu study tour.
While Japan’s single largest beef processing plant may be modest in size compared with many in Australia, what it lacks in scale it makes up for in attention to detail, precision and heavy focus on traceability and food safety.
A question was posed at last Friday’s RNA Paddock to Palate competition awards breakfast: Should Wagyu cattle be shown in the main ring alongside all the other breeds?