Scottish red meat export trade is predicted to remain steady over the next two years despite Brexit uncertainty.
That was the message from Quality Meat Scotland’s head of economics services, Stuart Ashworth, who predicted “business as usual” for red meat export trade during Brexit negotiations.
“Access to overseas markets will not change, so the market will continue to be primarily driven by basic supply and demand, consumer confidence and exchange rates,” said Mr Ashworth.
“It is, however, possible that there may be some implications for the timing of livestock sales as a result of producers being keen to maintain cashflows in light of changes to support payments.”
He reported stability in the beef sector with prime stock prices ahead of last year, however an increase in the number of cattle on farms could see prices remaining static unless demand also increased.
Mr Ashworth said although prime sheep prices had increased in the run up to Easter, prices at the turn of the year were at their lowest level for four years.
“UK kill has been increasing through February and may run ahead of year-earlier levels later in the season. Accordingly, trade volumes may increase in the next couple of months and potentially this could affect farmgate prices at the start of the new season,” added Mr Ashworth.
He reported positive prospects for the pig sector with farmgate prices currently around a third higher than 12 months ago.