WAMMCO is anticipating that 2009 could see a long-awaited turning point in WA’s declining sheep flock, on the prospects of a good year ahead for WA lamb producers.
WAMMCO CEO Des Griffiths said after recent meetings with the Co-operative’s export partners, that whereas uncertainty clouded the market prospects for lamb in North America, prices were holding well, and returns to local lamb producers were reflecting the low $A and pending supply shortages.
“We have not changed our view that 2009 will be a good year for producers and difficult for almost everyone else,” Des said.
“However the level of uncertainty in global markets is unprecedented as WAMMCO and its customers try to anticipate violent swings in currency, and a global economy running in all directions.”
Des said WAMMCO had successfully built domestic lamb sales over the past 12 months to represent about 15 percent of its lamb market – partially to counter exchange rates of more than 95 cents in the dollar.
“That rate is currently around 65cents and exports are now more lucrative, but in the current global economic climate, it makes sense to also maximise our domestic market share.”
He said maintaining the throughput of quality lamb in the year ahead would be the most critical test for WAMMCO.
“We hope to maintain current throughput at Katanning, but the prices to producers are already moving higher and we will be announcing new supply contracts in December in an effort to attract volume.
“Keeping a viable workforce at Katanning will be more critical than ever to seeing WAMMCO survive the worst global crisis for decades,” Des said.
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