HCC to review beef sector as prices continue to fall

HCC to review beef sector as prices continue to fall

A review into the future of the beef industry in Wales will be conducted by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales as worries grow over a dramatic fall in prices received by farmers.

The HCC Board of Directors called for the review after members expressed concern that the average deadweight price for steers during the week ending May 3rd was 352p per kg – 7p per kg lower than it was just a fortnight before and 46p lower than the same time in 2013.

This equates to a drop in income for the farmer of between £170 and £200 per steer.

Meanwhile the volume of beef imported into the UK from the Republic of Ireland has increased.

“Throughput at Irish export abattoirs is up by 13.6 per cent so far in 2014 compared with the same period in 2013, meaning that more than 50,000 additional prime cattle have entered the food chain,” said HCC’s Chairman Dai Davies.

“At the same time Irish producers are receiving the equivalent of around 310p per kg for their cattle.

“This has led to an increase in imports of Irish beef into the UK, undercutting the price paid to farmers in Britain.”

In the first two months of 2014, an additional 2,500 tonnes of beef was exported from Ireland to the UK, bringing the total volume to 25,000 tonnes compared to the same period last year.

HCC Chief Executive Gwyn Howells said: “The HCC review will look at all options to ensure that the Welsh beef herd has a viable and sustainable long term future.

“It is in everyone’s interests – farmers, processors and retailers – to have a thriving beef industry in this country to satisfy the growing demand for high quality home-grown beef. All sections of the supply chain should work in harmony to achieve this aim.

“We would encourage retailers to take a strategic view and collaborate with their partners in the UK supply chain to ensure a viable and sustainable long term future for our beef industry.”

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