Australian beef exports are falling, contributing to a stronger trading tone in the international market. Increasing prices for Argentinian beef are part of the same phenomenon. The effects are being felt in the UK, where South American supplies are suddenly scarce again after causing distress to Irish suppliers a few weeks ago. This tighter market is a gift to some of the politicians and negotiators hoping to start substantive talks on a new world trade pact. For the EU, especially, stronger prices could take some of the heat out of the long running dispute over export susidies, particularly after the intervention stock clearout. But the reality is still much higher prices for most types of beef on the internal EU market than outside its borders. And the market would have looked very different without the economic crisis in Russia to absorb large tonnages as food aid last year. {{MEAT }}

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