Cattle prices take first hit on back of Brexit fears
Quotes down 10c/kg as political uncertainty piles on the pressure
THE UNCERTAINTY over the impact of the UK's vote to exit the EU has seen up to 10c/kg wiped off beef prices at the factories and over €100/hd for store cattle at some marts.
Teagasc economist Kevin Hanrahan has warned the Brexit is likely to impact on all produce prices including cattle and may also hit sheep exports to France due to increased competition from the plummeting pound.
Bord Bia warned that Brexit is a significant challenge for Ireland's valuable agri-food industry, with the beef trade alone valued at €1.1bn.
The processors' body Meat Industry Ireland (MII) said the immediate concerns are the fall in value of sterling and weaker consumer spending in the UK economy.
"There is no question but that Irish beef, lamb, pigmeat and poultry exports to the UK will continue," said MII spokesman Cormac Healy, "but it will result in potential increased cost of doing business and customs.
"There is a concern that the UK will seek to conclude bilateral trade deals with other non-EU international countries such as Brazil, to cushion the impact of Brexit on food prices. Such deals would also undermine the competitive position of Irish meat in the UK," he said.
Meanwhile, factory quotes for bulls and cows are down 10c/kg, with steers and heifers down 5c/kg.