EUROPE – Great Britain has started 2015 by retaining top spot on the official EU deadweight beef price rankings, ahead of Northern Ireland in second and Italy in third place.
Tight cattle supplies, firm consumer demand and currency movements between sterling and euro are behind the increase, says the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).
The Commission said a 15 cents per kilo increase from week ending 14 December lifted British R3 heifers to 472 cents per kilo, above an EU average of €3.94 per kilo.
Northern Ireland, meanwhile, saw the biggest increase, up 22 cents to 463 cents per kilo, ahead of Italy, another strong mover, to 430.8. A large gap then separates the top three. France and Ireland both lifted to around the €4 per kilo mark.
However, currency movements may mean things soon alter, with the LMC predicting the sterling’s value to dampen British beef demand.
“With the value of the euro against sterling continuing to come under pressure in recent weeks GB and NI origin beef has become comparatively more expensive than beef from other Eurozone countries,” said an LMC spokesperson.
“This makes UK beef less competitive on markets beyond GB but with some major retailers in the UK willing to accept Irish origin beef as an alternative it may also have some implications on markets within the UK.”
Prices in Sweden, down 31.4 cents, and Denmark, up 15.4 cents were the other big movers in the top 16 cattle countries. This left R3 values at €3.70 per kilo and €352.8 respectively.
Bottom of the pile, Poland, Lithuania and Czech Republic, on €2.56 per kilo, all fell short of €3 per kilo.TheMeatSite News Desk