Falling beef prices unjustifiable as BBQ season hits full steam

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) says it is “unacceptable” that beef prices in Northern Ireland are falling at a time when consumer demand is high.

UFU beef and lamb chairman, Sam Chesney said the gap between the region’s prices and those in Great Britain are getting further apart.

“Last week, some steers in Scotland were getting offers near £4.00/kg compared to here, where offers were around £3.72/kg. At a time when beef is in demand, this is unjustifiable.”

The major processing plants in Northern Ireland have reported a steady supply to meet the demands of customers while throughput has been at a lower level in recent weeks.

Trend expected to continue

Chesney says this suggests a tightening in supply, which should ultimately translate into higher farm-gate prices.

“Farmers deserve to be treated fairly,” he said. “All signals are that the market is strong; there is demand for beef and processors must share the gains with primary producers.

In recent weeks, UK retail sales of beef have been on the up. The sun is shining and consumers are reaching for their barbeque favourites.

“The good weather looks set to stay for a while so we expect the trend to continue.

“This is not the time for processors to be pulling prices but instead to show their commitment to primary producers and a well-functioning supply chain.”