Beef: Beef producers need to focus on correct market specs
The Brexit vote has had an immediate negative impact on the beef trade. Living close to the border and working on both sides, there is an air of uncertainty among beef producers as the final outcome is still very hard to predict.
A hard border between north and south would have huge implications on the livestock trade. I clearly remember the 1970s and 80s and the difficulties moving animals from one jurisdiction to another.
Northern Ireland remains a crucial market for both live exports, animals for slaughter and carcase beef. Impeding any of this trade will have obvious negative effects.
I shared a platform with Joe Burke of Bord Bia last week. The Bord Bia view is that the immediate beef market turbulence has been caused by uncertainty more than anything else.
The exchange rate changes caused by the weakening of the British pound has also contributed to the recent slide in beef price.
The UK beef price had been tracking upwards in recent weeks which resulted in a relatively stable beef price here in Ireland also.
Joe Burke indicated that the number of animals available for slaughter in the coming weeks would be tight which may feedback into a price stabilisation.
The fear among beef producers here is that Irish beef will be displaced in the vital UK market, if trade deals are negotiated between the British government and South American beef producers.