Slaughter cattle shortage 'set to become more acute'
Published 17/05/2011 | 05:00
The shortage of cattle for slaughter that is currently driving beef prices higher is set to become even more acute in the coming months, the ICSA has predicted.
Factory slaughter numbers for the first week of May were just at 20,064, compared with 23,224 for the same week last year.
The figures represent a 13.6pc drop in slaughtering of prime cattle for this week, while the year-to-date figures show that the prime kill is down by only 6.7pc.
ICSA general secretary Eddie Punch said the figures demonstrate that the cattle scarcity is becoming more acute with each passing week.
Late last year, Mr Punch predicted that reduced cattle supplies would drive beef prices up to 400c/kg, a prophecy that has recently been fulfilled.
However, the ICSA man declined to set a new target for beef prices, saying it was early to look ahead.
"What is happening now just reflects the reality that scarcity of supply is the essential ingredient to better prices, and it certainly demonstrates that any return to old style production-linked CAP payments would be a disaster for farmers," he said.