Fears for future cattle prices
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.