GOLD Coast butcher Clint Adams says despite the eye-popping $500/kg price tag, there are a good number of people willing to pay handsomely for the best Wagyu beef on offer.
“This A5 marble score 10-12 Miyasaki is the best imported Japanese product currently on the market,” Mr Adams said.
“It may seem expensive, but for the people who are willing to pay $500/kg they appreciate the quality it represents.
The Miyasaki product is a small amount of Wagyu beef currently being imported into Australia.
The strip loin imported from Japan is being sold through Millers Gourmet Meats in Westfield’s newly opened Coomera shopping centre.
Shop owner Rhys Williamson said there was even a market for $1000/kg Wagyu beef.
“If we can source some Real Kobe product, that will on sale in Australia for $1000/kg. There will be people coming in to buy it,” Mr Williamson said.
“It’s a delicacy, it’s hard to get. They makes it expensive.”
The good news is the stellar prices are not limited to Japanese product.
Australian produced Wagyu beef is still by any measure just as expensive. The Mayura Station product is currently being offered for $350/kg, but can also retail for $500/kg.
When Queensland Country Life visited the Coomera store Australian Agricultural Company’s Master Kobe marble score 7-9 product was on offer for $283/kg.
“People are getting more educated on what they are buying and are increasingly appreciating quality,” Mr Williamson said.
Mr Williamson said there were two distinct groups of buyers. One group was well informed and included some Japanese buyers seeking out traditional product. The other was people who had heard of Wagyu beef and were willing to “give it a try”.
“It really depends on the person,” Mr Williamson said.
“Some people are extremely knowledgeable. They know the breeding and they know what goes on behind producing Wagyu beef.
“Other people are very motivated to learn and start by eating the product.”
Millers also features arguably Australia’s largest dry ageing facility. The $140,000 cool room has the capacity for 500 strip loins and features 30sq m of salt bricks.
Australian Wagyu Association chief executive officer Matt McDonagh said the importation of very high grade Wagyu product from Japan was benefiting the Australian industry.
“This high quality Japanese product is helping to build brand recognition and create consumer awareness,” Mr McDonagh said.
“It’s helping consumers recognise Wagyu as a high quality, luxury table meat.
“It’s very encouraging to see Japanese product being presented alongside leading Australian brands.”
Mr McDonagh said about 90pc of Australia’s Wagyu production was exported, mainly to South East Asia.
“Australia is in a good position,” he said
“Our Wagyu genetics are 100 per cent Japanese black and our feedlots are tuned to get best out of these animals.
“Any price premium is probably down to the mystique of imported product.”
Meanwhile, the Australian Wagyu Association is gearing up for its annual conference, to be held in Adelaide on May 8-10.
Themed WagyuEdge: Building Integrity, the conference aims to expand on industry knowledge that is specific to the unique breed.