Compared with autumn 2000, when BSE was found in Germany and Spain, beef consumption is now down by 18% for the EU as a whole, compared with a decrease of 23% in March. German beef sales are down some 40%, compared with levels before the new BSE scare. Consumption is 30% lower in Italy and 20% down in Spain, France and Portugal. Beef cattle prices have increased recently across much of Europe, as purchasers in the UK are now noticing. The Commission reports that prices for male animals are now "at a quite acceptable level". {{M/E MEAT }}