SCOTLAND, UK – Beef supplies have bottlenecked in Scotland as a weak Euro makes importing easier and exporting less appealing.
Abattoir waiting lists mean fattened cattle can't be sold, costing farmers more money to keep fed and putting prices at risk if market specifications are not met from heavy cattle.
This is putting "severe pressure" on prices in a crucial spring month, said NFU Scotland.
Present prices are 20 pence per kilo down on the same time last year. This means many cattle are £120 cheaper than last year, NFU Scotland’s Charlie Adam told the BBC on Farming Today.
Irish beef imports are up 10 per cent and imports from Europe are up 20 per cent.
Lower prices, demand and slaughterhouse delays are perennial problems at this time in Scotland, he said in a press release.
“Currency is also conspiring against us,” said Mr Adam. “The weak Euro has contributed to more difficult export conditions and greater pressure from imports – particularly from Ireland.
“Industry sources suggest that higher imports have had most impact on the market for manufacturing beef and mince that makes its way into the processed food and catering sectors.”
Scottish farmers are working with meat marketing organisation Quality Meat Scotland to stimulate demand. They believe an adjusted beef marketing campaign to include Easter will help.
Checks will also be done in supermarkets that Scotch beef is separated and labelled appropriately.
Mr Adam said: “Forward planning between producers, processors and retailers can help all parties make sure we meet the needs of the market while securing a share of the margin for all.
“Given fair warning; clear signals and proper incentives for meeting specification, I am certain Scotland’s beef producers can adapt so that we can better supply the premium market for Scotch beef all year round.”
TheCattleSite News Desk
Top image via Shutterstock