The Scotsman

Fears for fu­ture cat­tle prices

- Business · Livestock Industry · Agriculture · Industries · Scotland · United Kingdom · Suriname

Cat­tle prices, al­ready at a low ebb, and fur­ther eroded by the Covid cri­sis ear­lier this year, have been bounc­ing back in re­cent weeks – but while sup­ply looks set to be lower in the com­ing months, the Covid­driven slide in the econ­omy could curb de­mand.

In its most re­cent mar­ket anal­y­sis, Qual­ity Meat Scot­land( Q MS) said that after fall­ing to a low point in April, some of the high­est farm gate prices in re­cent years were cur­rently be­ing seen for fin­ished cat­tle.

“Only twice in the past decade, in 2013 and 2017, have far­m­gate cat­tle prices been higher at this time of year than they cur­rently are,” said QMS chief economist, Stu­art Ash­worth.

“The UK has one of the high­est pro­ducer prices for beef across Europe and the world, and the gap has widened in the past quar­ter,” he con­tin­ued.

He said that with Scot­tish calf reg­is­tra­tion sin 2018 be­ing 2.5 per­cent lower than in 2017, the cur­rent pool ofs laughte rage cat­tle was likely to be smaller than a year ago, a fact which he said would im­pact on sup­plies through to the end of 2020.”

The Covi d-led di sr upti onto the pub­lic’ s ho li­day plans, with more peo­ple stay­ing within the UK, had helped firm con­sumer de­mand for beef, as had the slow re­turn of restaurant­s and fast food out­lets and the UK’S ‘Eat out to help out’, said Ash­worth.

How­ever he added that that fu­ture was far from cer­tain with the end­ing of the fur­lough scheme and con­tin­ued eco­nomic pres­sures likely to im­pact on in­come sand con­sumer pur­chas­ing power.

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