The re-opening of unrestricted beef sales to other EU countries
after mid-April gives UK beef farmers their best chance for ten
years to break the supermarket stranglehold on farm prices and
introduce life giving competition into a loss making industry.
So says the National Beef Association as it welcomed today's news
that the European Commission's food safety committee (SCOFCAH)
has unanimously approved the dismantling of the Date Based Export
Scheme (DBES) and opened the way to long awaited re-connection
to higher priced EU markets.
“The importance of this decision cannot be overestimated.
The export ban has forced our beef industry to suffocate in isolation
but now there is a chance it can be revived by the financial oxygen
generated through access to a wider range of freer spending customers,” explained
NBA chief executive, Robert Forster.
It is expected that the most immediate commercial reaction will
be in the manufacturing beef market. An indication of what can
be anticipated is given by last week's domestic cull cow average
of around 120p dwkg which compares with 159p in Germany , 177p
in France , and 166p in the Netherlands.
“As soon as beef from cows born after July 1996 can be
exported in sufficient volume UK prices will move closer to those
paid elsewhere and everyone offering an export specification animal
will benefit,” said Mr Forster.
“Deadweight averages paid for prime cattle look good too
with 220p being offered in Spain, 250p in Italy, 228p in France
and 220p in Germany while the UK price drags well behind at just
“The importance of once again being able to link in with
the strong beef market in Continental Europe cannot be underestimated.
This applies to live cattle as well as beef.”
“The NBA expects deliveries of pedigree animals to begin
as soon as the green light is given in about six weeks time and
these could soon be followed by the sale of weaned suckler calves
into Spain and Italy and dairy bred calves into the Netherlands
“This activity will raise the value of all cattle across
the UK and add much needed value to farm balance sheets as well
as give a welcome lift to incomes on breeding farms.”
“Domestic legislation in France and Germany, which despite
the SCOFCAH decision still blocks beef deliveries from UK, must
be lifted before the EU market is completely open to our product
but moves in France, which is by far the more important of the
two, are already being made and there is widespread expectation
of a quick result,.” Mr Forster added.
Chicago style retail price cuts are suicidal
National Suckled Calf Show At Beef Expo 2006
should resist abattoir moves to pull down prime cattle prices