Beef price dip as live export hopes wane
Cattle prices tumbled again this week, with farmers blaming the absence of a live export trade for the €110/hd slide since June.
While cattle prices at both the marts and meat factories slipped by up to 30c/kg this week, sheep quotes have strengthened on the back of further shipments of live lambs to North Africa.
Another shipment of 10,000 lambs is being loaded in Waterford this week, with an additional 5,000 to be sourced for the same market before the end of July.
In contrast, hopes that a new outlet for live exports of cattle are fading as a British farm leader poured cold water on suggestions that Tesco is to ramp up the sourcing of Irish-born beef for its British stores.
Andy Foot, who is beef chairman at the National Farmers Union (NFU) said Tesco management in Britain had assured them that the supermarket chain had no plans to increase volumes of beef being sold through the "Irish-born, British-finished" labelling system.
A Tesco spokesman contacted by the Farming Independent said he could not comment on reports in the farming press that suggested that the retailer was willing to allow Irish-born cattle that were finished in Britain to be sold as British beef.
But the NFU went further and totally dismissed the reports.
"We've been told that there's no truth in it whatsoever," said Mr Foot.