The eleven-month drought in Australia is expected to damage the meat export industry for years to come with an estimated 18% drop in beef production to 2005. According to Meat and Livestock Australia, even if the drought breaks tomorrow, cattle and sheep industry productivity would not fully recover from the enforced sell-off of stock until 2007. Exports and domestic consumption are both forecast to fall this year due to supply restrictions.

The country is the world’s largest exporter of beef, livestock and wool.