Clearest description of the beef market catastophe facing Brussels officials and European governments was offered on Tuesday by MLC economist Duncan Sinclair, who pointed out: "EU annual consumption was expected to approach seven million tonnes, and if this drops by just 10% there will be a surplus equivalent to total UK production." This excess output would be far greater than additional exports could absorb, implying a market imbalance almost certain to drive the deadweight price below 150p per kg in Britain next year, even if Brussels bows to the inevitable and launches a huge programme of intervention buying. {{MEAT }}