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UFU Say Cattle Supplies Set to Tighten

20 May 2010

UK - The Ulster Farmers Union has urged producers to market their cattle strongly and reject efforts by meat processors to further lower quotes for cattle.

In the past three weeks, factories have tried to reduce quotes by 10-12p/kg but during the same period there has been a tightening in slaughter numbers.

UFU Beef and Lamb Committee Chairman Ray Elkin said; “The beef industry is in a vulnerable state at present and producers are in need of price stability to instil confidence. Cattle supplies look like they will be much tighter for the remainder of the year and quality cattle in particular will be in short supply as we begin to see the impact of a decreasing suckler herd.”

The UFU say that DARD statistics for April 2010 show that on the ground there are 13 per cent fewer beef bred steers and bulls, 23% fewer beef heifers and 70 per cent more dairy bulls aged 12-30 months compared to the same time last year. This equates to an overall drop of 6% in animals aged 12-30 months that will be available for slaughter in 2010 and the UFU believe that producers with quality cattle are in a strong marketing position.

Mr Elkin added; “For the remainder of 2010, supplies of cattle available for slaughter will be much tighter. I would encourage farmers to continue to market their cattle strongly, not to accept processor moves to reduce quotes and look at all their options including the live market when it comes to selling their animals.”

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