A serious shortage of freight space is adding to the problems of UK corned beef importers, already hit by widespread civil service strikes in Brazil.

A surge in exports has wrongfooted freight companies who report delays of up to two months in getting goods away from Santos, where there is unprecedented congestion.

Already there have been out-of-stock positions with reports of cancelled corned beef promotions.

One canner has admitted to having the equivalent of 150 containers of product waiting for freight space. Cattle prices remain high, so the outlook for UK selling prices is one of increases. A firmer dollar will compound the problem, so forward buying will be limited to replacement stock only, and the opportunity to promote probably reduced.