NFU Council: Beef and lamb outlook good

THE outlook for beef and lamb is good, according to NFU livestock chairman Alistair Mackintosh.

Beef prices were ‘very strong’ before Christmas due to strong demand for roasting joints and top cuts, combined with poor weather that ensured tight supplies.

Prices have levelled off in the past few weeks but supply will continue to be tight in future due in part to the situation in Ireland where beef cattle numbers have dropped from 1.9 million to just 1.2m, he said.

With costs also rising, processors recognise they will need to pay more to make production more attractive, he added.

Lamb prices are 9 per cent up on last year. However, this is only because a ‘worrying’ 17 per cent decline in UK consumption has been offset by a tightening in supply due on the back largely of problems in New Zealand, which has only managed to fill 86 per cent of its quota.

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