Meat & Livestock News

Navigating Co-Product Markets: An Insight

TL;DR: Co-product prices fluctuate due to supply and demand, affecting industry stakeholders and offering opportunities in sectors like cooking oil and affordable meat options.

The saying goes that 80% of an animal’s value is derived from 20% of its body, relegating the rest to ‘co-products’. These include a variety of items like tallow, hides, and organ meats among others.

In the past year, the prices for most of these co-products have seen a dip, influenced by shifts in supply and demand dynamics. A notable example is sheep runners, whose price drop opens doors for butchers and sausage makers, while tallow prices have decreased due to reduced demand in various sectors.

Tallow’s Tale

Tallow, utilised in cooking, cosmetics, and as fuel, saw a price drop from $3,000 per tonne to under $1,300 due to decreased global demand. This makes it an attractive option for cooking oil.

The Case of Sheep Runners

Sheep runners, essential for sausage casings, now price at $2 per piece, a significant decrease. This drop is tied to increased lamb and sheep slaughter numbers, potentially making sausages a more budget-friendly option.

Skirt Steak Gains Popularity

Skirt steak, once a lesser-known cut, now enjoys popularity in retail and upscale restaurants. Priced at $8.20 per kg, its affordability may draw cost-conscious consumers.

Rising Prices in Other Co-Products

Contrastingly, prices for tripe, liver, tail, and tongue have risen over the last year. This uptick is possibly due to their increased usage domestically and internationally, driven by the need for more affordable food options amid cost-of-living pressures.

The shifting dynamics in co-product prices reveal a complex interplay of supply and demand. While some products see decreased prices opening up new opportunities, others become more valuable. Understanding these trends is crucial for stakeholders in the meat industry, from butchers to consumers, to navigate these changes effectively.