Strong demand for beef on the international market means UK buyers will see little or no benefit from Brussels' cut in export subsidies, which took effect on September 2. Although the latest slump in the value of the euro should make continental supplies cheaper here, the US dollar pulls third country prices in the other direction. One symptom of this is the relatively high pain threshold in Irish beef processing. Cattle supplies are well down from 1999 as the seasonal kill buildup begins, but the slaughterers have been able to force steer prices lower while quietly admitting sales to some markets outside the EU are pretty good. Within the UK market, meanwhile, the autumnal demand shift forward along the carcase is under way. Irish sellers here are managing to extract modest price increases from buyers of forequarter beef, and the continuing multiple promotions are at least shifting worthwhile hind volume even if the value remains disappointing. {{MEAT }}

Topics