'Irish beef may potentially have to compete directly with South American beef' - analyst
Irish beef may potentially have to compete directly with South American beef in the valuable UK food service market, in the case of a no-deal Brexit.
It might be one of the many implications the UK government's proposed no-deal tariff regime might have on beef imports, according to Tom Forshaw, Red Meat analyst with the UK's Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).
Under the proposals there would be a tariff-free quota of 230,000t, open to all countries with a licence to export the UK, on a first come first served basis.
UK consumers currently consume around 1.2m tonnes (carcase weight equivalent) of beef (production plus imports, minus exports).
Forshaw says this makes the UK around 80pc self-sufficient in beef and so currently it relies on imports to meet its demand.
In 2018, he said 73pc of UK beef imports came from Ireland, with the vast majority of the rest being from other EU countries, with free access to the UK market.
However, in a no deal scenario, countries like Brazil and Argentina will have equal access into the UK beef market.
"Until now they were priced out by the EU external tariff policy, making their beef uncompetitive.