Resist Lower Beef Prices

UK - The Ulster Farmers’ Union is urging beef producers to resist the recent drop in farm gate prices offered by processors. The union says producers should not be ‘panicked’ by the lower prices offered in recent weeks.
calendar icon 4 August 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

The UFU urged beef finishers to take confidence from a range of positive market factors. Graham Furey said; “Some people in the industry are trying to talk down prices, but we are urging producers to be strong sellers because there are a lot of positive factors. In the past week local meat plants slaughtered 1,300 fewer prime cattle than the corresponding week last year. Current slaughterings of prime cattle are 11.5% lower than last year and suckler cow numbers have fallen by almost 30,000 compared to a year ago. There is no glut of beef, and the number of cows being slaughtered continues to rise, calling in to question where future beef supplies are going to come from. The impact of cheap Brazilian beef has also been removed with the import ban now in effect and the sterling / euro exchange rate is in our favour”.

“These are all positive factors, plus there remains an unjustifiable price differential between Northern Ireland and GB which needs to be closed. Producers should use these facts to press for stronger prices. Producers should also explore other options such as live exporting for their cattle, if local prices are not satisfactory”.

Graham Furey added: “Beef prices have risen steadily since the beginning of the year and that trend needs to continue to bring the beef sector back into profitability. We are now at a very important moment; producers must hold out for better prices to stop returns falling back into serious loss making levels. Our message to beef processors is to strongly market local beef into the marketplace, rather than attempting to pull farm gate prices”.

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