Both Ireland and the UK could regret not making more effort to secure openings for manufacturing beef (cow beef) exports to the US, according to Robert Forster.

According to the UK-based journalist and the author of the Beef Industry Newsletter, this market could have been beneficial to beef exports from both Ireland and the UK, especially for beef produced from dairy cull cows.

“The UK, Republic of Ireland and the rest of the EU expect to face an unusually high level of lean, dairy cow cullings this autumn. Beef taken from such cows is exactly the type the US market wants,” he said.

Presently, he added, that the US is importing a large quantity of beef from Australia, but the US market is large enough to accept manufacturing beef produced in both Ireland and the UK.

“Each country, especially the Republic of Ireland, will be disappointed that the road to manufacturing beef deliveries has not been opened because even if the US market was continuing to accept a full flow of beef from Australia it would still be looking for more,” he said.

Forster added that if the exports of Irish manufacturing beef to the US was successful it would be beneficial to the Irish beef price.

“Even if the only deliveries came from Ireland they would be expected to trigger an across the board lift in Irish beef values as well as a slight reduction in the beef being sold to the UK,” he said.

Australian exporters to face tariffs or cut export volumes

Forster added that there will be a dramitic reduction in the volume of Australlian beef exports to the US, and this has been a missed oppurtunity for both Irish and UK producers.

“A dramatic slowdown in Australian deliveries is expected to send US buyers searching for the quick delivery of high priced consignments from other sources.

“The Aussies are pouring, lean grass-fed, beef trimmings onto the hungry US market so fast that it is regarded as a certainty that 85% of its annual 418,000t duty-free quota will have been delivered before October 1.

“When this happens Australian consignors will be obliged to spread the delivery of the final 15% of their quota over the remaining three months – knowing that if they ship in more than their new monthly allocation they will have to pay an import tariff on the excess.”