Out Of Step Asda Drops Steak Prices

UK - The National Beef Association can confirm that the supermarket chain which imports most beef from the Republic of Ireland (ROI) is retailing top beef cuts for significantly less than those which have elected to buy most heavily from the UK – despite pleas from both farmers, and from government, not to take advantage of the FMD outbreak and drop its prices.
calendar icon 28 August 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Asda drops the price of steak.
The most recent retail survey by TNS shows that both Tesco and Morrisons which import the lowest volume from the ROI have lifted their rump steak price to £8.98 a kilo at the same time as Asda, which according to TNS imports 47.5 per cent of its beef from Ireland, has dropped its rump steak by £1.98 per kg to just £7.00.

“It is easy for Asda to step out of line and drop its price because prime cattle in the ROI are currently selling for £80 a head less than those in the UK and it is still able to maintain its margins because it is buying cheaper,” explained NBA director Kim Haywood.

“In contrast Morrisons which purchases 95.8 per cent of its beef from UK farms lifted its rump steak price by £1 a kilo and Tesco, which imports only 7.1 per cent of its fresh beef of which just 1.2 per cent is from the ROI, upped its rump steak price considerably by £2.50 a kilo.”

“Each of the latter has made moves that appear to fall in line with industry pleas not to take advantage of farmer vulnerability caused by FMD related supply disruptions and a request from the Prime Minister not to exploit the FMD outbreak.”

“However Asda has taken the opposing price route and seems to have been unable to resist introducing a heavy discount at a time when both farmers and government were looking for price support and stability.”

Sainsbury’s has held its rump steak price at £8.98 a kilo but because it is importing 15.7 per cent of its beef from the ROI it has the advantage of paying less for its beef on an overall basis – even though beef under its British and Irish labels is retailed at the same price.

“In this instance Sainsbury’s may seem to be holding a pro-farmer line but unless it reduces its Irish imports to the same level as Morrisons and Tesco it will continue to enjoy a cost advantage over Morrison’s and Tesco and at the same time suppress the value of finished cattle in the UK,” said Ms Haywood.


TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.