Beef exports recover

UK - British beef exports are recovering strongly in spite of some residual consumer resistance in some markets, said Peter Hardwick, the Meat and Livestock Commission's Brussels-based international manager, on the opening day of the annual British Cattle Breeders Club annual conference yesterday, writes Vic Robertson
calendar icon 24 January 2007
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But in some cases this stemmed from the cautious approach of retail and food service buyers, following the TEN-year post-BSE beef export ban, rather than the consumers themselves. Crucially, the positive quality image of British beef has played in our favour with importers that trade with the UK prior to 1996 keen to re-establish commercial links," he said.

"What is encouraging is that British beef has now been exported to at least 11 different member states and that regular trade is now starting to emerge."

Initial forecasts produced by the MLC estimated 2006-7 exports at 30,000 tonnes for the first full 12 months of the resumption of trade but at the current rate he reckoned it would reach 36,000 tonnes. with the potential for between 50-60,000 tonnes in the current calendar year.

"There are a number of factors that will make it unlikely that this level of exports will be reached again, not least of which is the decline in the [UK] breeding herd and the total number of cattle in the intervening period. Both have declined by approximately 14 per cent."

Trading conditions had also changed significantly, most notably with the run-down in EU export refunds or subsidies to third countries, and a substantial increase in imports.

Source: The Scotsman
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