Northern Irish beef more competitive as sterling weakens
Northern Irish beef is gaining in competitiveness as the euro continues to trade strongly against sterling during 2017 to date and following the UK General Election.
The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) in Northern Ireland has noted that one such advantage is that a weaker sterling makes Northern Irish, and UK, beef more competitive on key EU markets while it also increases the cost of imports from other Eurozone countries, in particular beef from the Republic of Ireland.
It says during 2016 92pc of all UK beef and veal imports originated in the EU and with the euro currently trading strongly against sterling it reduces the cost competitiveness of imported beef.
A weaker sterling also provides benefits for Northern sheep producers.
Exports of sheepmeat to the EU accounted for 96pc of all UK sheepmeat exports during 2016 with France and Germany being the two largest market outlets.
A weaker sterling makes UK lamb more cost competitive against other Eurozone product and this makes it easier for local processors to secure market outlets, the LMC says.
It also highlights that a weaker sterling also makes Northern Irish lambs more attractive to processors in the Republic and this increases competition for lambs with the local processors.
This has had a positive impact on the live trade in marts in Northern Ireland and also has helped boost deadweight quotes early this week to 480-490p/kg up to 21kg in local plants.