Beef farmers reeling as UK beef sales slump
British consumers cutting down on beef with sales of roasting joints down 30pc
Beef sales in Britain have slumped to their lowest levels since 2016 and new figures from the Department of Agriculture reveal that beef prices here are now back by up to an average of €150 per head.
Quality steers and poor grading heifers have been hit the hardest in the 2019 beef crisis, with producer returns down by an average of €150/hd and some categories down by as much as €300/hd.
Please log in or register with Farming Independent for free access to this article.
Farm organisations have warned that poor returns for cattle since the start of the year have crippled winter beef finishers and threatens the future of the sector.
Analysis by the Farming Independent shows that returns on finished steers, heifers and young bulls have fallen €54.1m for the first quarter of 2019 - an average drop of more than €4m/week, based on the actual throughput at factories.
To add to the concerns in the beef sector, reports this week indicate difficulties in UK supermarket beef sales with supplies of beef running ahead of demand from major customers.
A report from the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) in Northern Ireland has highlighted that retail beef sales in Britain declined 4.8pc for the three months to March 24.
This equates to a decline of 3,575t sold in supermarkets - a €30m drop based on retail sales data from Kantar.
This is the lowest retail spend on beef recorded during this 12-week period since 2016.