Sterling slump piles pressure on beef prices
A sharp slide in the value of sterling has piled more pressure on the beef trade this week.
The euro was trading at 90p sterling yesterday as the pound slipped to a three-month low against the European currency on the back of the mounting political chaos in Westminster regarding Brexit.
While factory quotes were generally unchanged yesterday, industry sources accepted that the latest drop in sterling is bad news for an already weakened beef trade.
The decision of British prime minister Theresa May to pull the Commons vote on the Brexit deal hammered out with the EU prompted yesterday's fall in sterling, and could herald further sell-offs of the currency.
Market analysts fear that sterling's weakness could hit an already fragile beef trade in Britain, with supermarkets struggling to maintain meat sales. Recent figures from Kantar show that beef sales in Britain declined by 4.6pc in the 12-week period up to October 7.
Despite these difficulties, factory prices are generally unchanged for bullocks, heifers and cows. However, young bulls are proving difficult to get killed.
Bullocks are on a base of €3.75/kg, with heifers on €3.85/kg, and R grade cows on €3.00/kg. Quotes for P grade cows range from €2.40/kg to €2.60/kg, with up to €2.80/kg being paid for O grades.
Supermarket While prices are unchanged for young bulls, with R grades on €3.75/kg, farmers are finding it difficult to get stock killed. Finishers are being forced to do deals for mixes of bulls with bullocks and heifers to get stock away.