Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Tough start for beef prices

Prime cattle prices are down 4% on last year.
Prime cattle prices are down 4% on last year.

Scottish prime cattle prices have started 2019 4% down on this time last year.

Quality Meat Scotland said the drop in prices was down to a range of factors, however it was in line with European producers who are experiencing, on average, a 3% drop in prices.

The levy body’s director of economics services Stuart Ashworth said the June 2018 census for Europe showed a decline in the breeding cow herd with dairy cow numbers down 0.5% and beef cow numbers down 1.4%.

“A smaller breeding herd points towards lower production in the coming months,” he added.

Scottish calf registrations reduced by 0.25% in 2017 and in the 11 months to the end of November 2018 they had fallen by a further 2.5%.

Mr Ashworth said: “The volume of prime beef produced in Britain would only be maintained if carcase weights were to rise but even then, as the year progresses, production is likely to decline.”

He said slaughterings of cows across the UK in 2018 were ahead of 2017 levels until November but it is unlikely these volumes will be maintained in 2019.

“Consequently, it seems likely that British and European beef production will fall as we move through 2019. This may not though be enough to support farmgate prices,” said Mr Ashworth.

He said another factor affecting prices is a sharp decline in cattle hide prices, due to reduced demand for leather and an increase in cattle slaughterings. A very competitive meat retail market, both in terms of price and volume, was also likely to constrain prices.

Data from Kantar World Panel reveals that in the 12 months to November 2018 UK beef purchases for home use fell by 2% in volume and 1.5% in value.

Office for National Statistics data reveals the average consumer price of beef in November 2018 was 1.4% lower than a year ago, meaning lower prices had not stimulated demand.

Mr Ashworth said a stagnation in European beef consumption was predicted for 2019, and any growth in consumption was likely to come from developing countries.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]