Viewpoint: All is calm on the beef front but for how long?
Published 29/07/2015 | 02:30
The talk from last week's Beef Forum was all about markets, new and old.
Those with a ringside seat at the regular get-together between farmers, state agencies and industry reported back that it was relatively plain sailing, as opposed to last November's heated meetings.
Back then, all sides were rightly getting more than a tad hot and bothered about the prices being paid for prime beef at the factory gates.
While all is relatively calm now on the beef front, it could be a very different scenario 18 months from now when a predicted 'flood' of beef - courtesy of dairy herd expansion - hits the market.
The figures are hard to argue with. Calf registrations are up 116,000hd, while the numbers of Angus and Herefords registered have risen 19pc in the first six months.
The relatively tight supply of cattle has helped shore up prices here, but the figures show the European market remains well supplied.
We've already seen a summer of discontent in France, where more cattle coming onto an already depressed market has led to a lot of unrest.
However, it's not just the conventional beef finishers who have one eye already on 2017 onwards.