DEMAND FOR BEEF
nit:- PRICKS RULING. KXPoin'KPS' kefn competition. APAIY CONTRACTS TO FILL. When ono considers that, exporters hav been securing a very fair proportion, of the yardiugs. ;i,od one also takes into consideration the fact that they haw secured several iincs in Ot.-igo a.nd Southland during the, past few days, it must bo recognised that there is every likelihood that there will be a further decided rise in the price of <-at-t!<> in the immediate future. Certainly everything points to beef I)eiiiy very dear duriui; the coming winter. Tho above statement was mado to :i Mlstar' reporter this morning, and in view of the conditions ruling at the. Rurnside stock salesi Jiiti'ly, it must he admitted that it -sums uj> the position very concisely. Xever Ik-fore ha.s competition been mi keen by exporters, and it is now somowliai. difiirulf to determine their limit*!, ieeeently several lines of between 60 and 70 head of prime bullocks were secured in Olago and Southland at something like 41s per IOOIIi. but at yesterday's, sales business must have been done in prime beef at 42s 6d at, least, while some went as far a.-* to .say that one representative of ,a hi- esport. linn had a limit of 455. What the limits will be, in tho future is only a matter of conjecture, but on the word ..f a- leading butcher thev will be very close to 50s' per lOOlb, which will probably lie the signal for an increase in the retail price of meat.. Possibly 11k- housewife, who has to pay iu the long run, may be, pardoned for not finding any consolation in tho statement that the. present demand i.s due to e.x|x,rters having to fulfil big army contracts, but the fact ivmaius that the intense competition existing at the moment i.s clue directly to war. There has. of course, been a. .steady rise in the retail price of both beef a.nd mutton for some time past, as the housewife has frequently realised to her despair, and the cause.-; were disclosed in an interesting interview which a. reporter had this morning with one who ha.s had good opportunities for studying the petition.
"So far as ihe increase in prices is. concerned." dec.lai-ed our informant, "there is inn, the sa-me number of cattle- in the ioumi-y as there wa,s a, goo.l many years ago. i-'.ver sijlce the, Imrstinjr tip of tho large estates fully .10 years, ago cattle have been getting deat<-r. On those, largo estates, a. ei'i'aJ. deal of breeding was gone in for. and cattle wive reared and then sold to Ihe grazier, vcho fattened them for the market. the huge estates were ■cut, up into small holdings, a.int] many of the fariiieis, who now occupy tli«.m have gone iti lor <la.ii-y-i.il ruing, as against, caltle-Tai-mg. From the -i-.-iual monetary point of view ihe output of these .station?, would be greater that; it was previously, but, so far as beef alone is c.u-ecrned the cattle are not lacing produced in snob large numbers us; formerly. The fanners have devoted their attention to h-itfvi and ch-esc instead. The. .same remarks apply with regard to sheep •>•> a. certain extent.
" It ha.s a.iso to k> i-ememlM-red that exportation during the la-t 10 yoa.rs ha.s increased enormously S aue yearts ago 11 ie freezing companies, could not. guarantee, to land fio/cn beef in London in a, good condition owing Mi what was known as 'bone, taint' developing, this, being' caused by a, s.imeirh.if. i'lijicrfe-.-t kuowhde.: of freezing. That defect, bar. sine--- been remedied, and beef can be 'hipped Home and placed in the markets u; the rink oi condition, with the result, that lhi-re io now a, good dema-nd for i'. Since t].,., war has broken out largo contracts have lieni. Ie; j'or the supply to th*. ]'M7ti.-h Army--that is no secret -of both beet a.nd mtiitoii. but,, nalllia.iiy mostiv beef, and as a eou.-c----qifuce the )-epivr>.o-,,;ai i v-s of lyondor, firms have been buying liea\iiy <iven in the local ma.rk<t. At the present time these men an; ops-i-aliug extensively, and not only a.ro tlw-y buying in the op.--,, market.. Hut they are scouring the coinit.-y at the same timo and securing as big lots as they can get.. Their demands siem to be unlimited. I should sav (hat today thev are doing hicsiness tit, 42s 6d per lOOib. but one week at. Rurnside. owing to very keen o.impet it ion, price.-, advanced j-api'lh. and sales wen- orobabiv elfecied on a. *ba.sis :n 5,.,„e ca.ses' of pe,s haps 75s per 1001b.
understood that slocks' of ca.ttle In ihe countiy at" becoming rapidly depleted, and in the near future 1-eef .mir-t be considerably dearer than it. is to--day. There '... no denying the fact, that so f;o as the housewife's saverr.-igii :s e.ou'ern<-d ils pm-. " I am quite aware of the minors concerning the operations of tin- American Reef Trust, and so far as I am personally concerned i am quite ceu.'uloui that Ihe trust are operating in New Zealand not only In,in my own observations, but from the statement mad-:' M> me by one engaged in the export business, to the effect, that he believed he was working for the American Beef Trust. Supposing, however, thai the trust are operating here. it cannot y.-q be said that their operations arc altogether detrimental 1o the producer. They have not attempted to put ''li the seiew. as one might put it. for they have co,ne into Ihe open market and competed again.-t other buyers, who are probably fulfilling contracts ],„• (ho Briii.-h Army, and these buyers are, justas keen as ;he supposed representative or representatives of Hie trust. Comtiet-ition 11.-t s been evceedlngly keen for some time past naturally, and if my information j.-, corn-rt. the trust have representatives operating fivciv right throughout New Zealand, including Ola.go. They buy up any quantity and kill anywhere. Forsonifl time ihey v> ere operating in mutton alone, but Mdt-rlv thev have extended their activities, and appear to be fulfilling leg order.* for beef, ami I shall not. be r-iw-pr:s.-d R M-.,.-.- go in hea.vi!v for h.-if,..,-be-f as we): "' The su.ggestion that representatives e-f the trust are at work in New Zealand is by no means a u-w one. and severa.l persons, when approached for their opinion. v.-bile candidly admitting that they e ou .ul not furnish any dir-'ef. evidence as to whether or not the representatives of the (not bad been operating-, were nevertheless inclined to believe that 1 here was more than a grain of truth in the allegation that the trust, had representatives here. One gentleman, however, whoso opinions are entitled to full respect, on anything affecting the stock .market, ws rather disinclined to credit, the statements of si une in the absolve of definite evide„.e.
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DEMAND FOR BEEF, Evening Star, Issue 15705, 20 January 1915