The JBS Dinmore meat processing plant will close from Monday for the entire week in reaction to the "disconnect between cattle supply, prices and international meat market values".
The Dinmore plant is the largest meatworks in the southern hemisphere and when operating at full capacity has a daily throughput of 3400 head and an onsite staff base of more than 2000 team members, making it the largest employer in the Ipswich region.
Livestock agency Grant Daniel and Long said in its Dalby sale report this week that while cattle numbers were reduced at the sale on Wednesday, with the absence of a major export buyer, cows, bullocks and bulls were slightly cheaper.
JBS buyers were also absent from cattle sales held earlier this week, with one agent reporting this gave southern processors an opportunity to buy.
JBS Dinmore has not responded to Queensland Country Life's requests for comment but told another media outlet, "that shutting a plant like Dinmore for a week is extreme, but we just cannot fill a kill roster for next week".
The decision to stop processing next week comes after four large Australian export beef abattoirs were suspended two weeks ago from accessing the China market.
The four export plants caught up in the trade halt were JBS Australia's Dinmore; JBS's dedicated grain-fed Beef City abattoir outside Toowoomba; Northern Cooperative Meat Co's Casino abattoir in northern NSW; and Kilcoy Global Foods' Kilcoy abattoir in southern Queensland.
The Dinmore processing plant is located in Ipswich and is less than one hour's drive to the Port of Brisbane and Brisbane Airport.