Beef sector will bear brunt of Brexit impact
The UNCERTAINTY over the Brexit move has seen up to 10c/kg wiped off cattle prices at the factories - and over €100/hd ringside - with concerns raised over Ireland's €2bn meat exports to the UK.
Rabobank's analyst Justin Sherrard warned the key risk was the "uncertainty" that will dominate over the months ahead.
"There is so much uncertainty around, and questions around that it might mean the UK looking for alternative supplies of beef," he said.
Some two million tonnes of meat were imported into the UK last year, with over 80pc from the EU including the main suppliers of Netherlands, Ireland, Germany and Denmark.
"I think the priority for the UK will be shoring up what they have at the moment rather than saying that now is the time to explore other supplies," he said. "If sterling settles at a value that is materially lower, it does spell bad news for the Irish beef industry."
Teagasc economist Kevin Hanrahan has warned the Brexit is likely to impact on all produce including cattle, and may also hit sheep exports to France due to increased competition.
Bord Bia described it as a significant challenge for Ireland's valuable agri-food industry, with the beef trade valued at €1.1bn.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said it was important to bear in mind that the EU Treaty provides a two year period for negotiation of exit arrangements.