Bright future forecast for beef and sheep

Bright future forecast for beef and sheep
4th May 2011


BEEF and sheep producers can be optimistic about the future of the industry, according to the latest forecasts.


Beef prices, which breached the significant 300p/kg barrier for the first time this month, are expected to be bolstered over the next 18 months by a tightening of supplies across the EU.

The figures were revealed at the EBLEX, BPEX and DairyCo Outlook Conference in Westminster last week.

Sheep producers should continue to benefit from improved farm gate prices, and there are signs that the downward trend in sheep numbers is coming to an end.

Exports remain a key driver in both sectors, with UK beef exports increasing by 25 per cent in value terms in 2010 and sheep exports rising by one per cent despite a global tightening of supplies.

EBLEX chairman John Cross said: “It’s pleasing to see that, although margins for many remain tight, farmgate prices for beef and sheep farmers are moving in the right direction, albeit with some volatility along the way.

“The recent price increases in both sectors have been underpinned by the vital work of EBLEX in helping to open up new markets for English beef, sheep meat and fifth quarter products.

“It is essential this work continues if we are to realise a sustainable price for producers.”

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