UFU Disappointed With Drop In Beef Prices

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has expressed its disappointment with the recent drop in both beef and lamb farmgate prices.
calendar icon 3 June 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

UFU Beef and Lamb Chairman Ray Elkin said; “Sheep prices in Northern Ireland (NI) have fallen by almost 90p/kg in the past three weeks meaning that producers are being forced to take approximately £20/head less. Recently a NI processor claimed that at the peak of the farmgate price they were losing £12/lamb, but with the recent drop in the farmgate price they should now be seeing the return of a healthy profit margin. Based on this the UFU believes that there is no reason for a further drop in price and that we should actually see a stabilisation of the sheep farmgate price.

“Confidence is returning to the sheep sector after many difficult years and is important now that prices remain strong and stable going forward. Farmers have had to deal with the extra cost of implementing sheep EID and the price for lambs reflects the added costs in production. A further cut in price would be totally unjustified.”

Beef farmers in Northern Ireland have also seen prices slip in the past number of weeks.

Ray Elkin said; “The last number of months has seen a much needed rise in the price of beef but in recent weeks I have been concerned by factory efforts to pull prices. Supplies continue to remain tight here and it’s a similar situation in the Republic Of Ireland (ROI). In fact ROI prices are now higher than anywhere else in the UK. Factories often say that our prices are reflective of the ROI market, however, if that is true then the recent drop in quotes in unacceptable.”

The UFU Beef and Lamb Chairman is encouraging beef and sheep farmers to take matters into their own hands and to ensure that they are marketing their animals strongly saying; “This is the time to be promoting your product strongly. It has been encouraging to see that beef exports to ROI have increased in recent weeks, as a result of a growing differential, and I would be encouraging producers to consider all their options when marketing an animal and not to be forced to accept a lower price.”

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