By FWi staff

FEEDERS and finishers across the UK should stiffen their attitude and become better sellers, according to the National Beef Association.

It claims that most deadweight cattle are being sold at a significant loss.

Finishers must be paid 177p-180p/kg for R4L classification steers and bulls if they are to raise sufficient income to continue their interest in beef, says the NBA.

“It is bitterly disappointing to see mainline R4L grid prices standing at 170p-172p in the major plants in England and Wales, and only 178p at abattoirs in Scotland,” said NBA chief executive Robert Forster.

He believes demand is currently focused on imported beef, which has been made artificially cheap by the strong Pound and weak Euro.

“At the same time supermarket specification cattle are facing visibly fewer buyers.”

According the NBA, beef farmers are not in the mood to suffer losses for long.

“At the moment [beef farmers] disappointment is being expressed in a wish to stiffen their selling resolve and no longer be panicked by price falls into rushing stock forward unnecessarily,” said Mr Forster.

“But if the screw that is being tightened by the price rollback pressure generated by Asda-Walmart and its three mainstream competitors continues to force them to offer cattle at prices that are too low for the fabric of the beef industry to be maintained, their attitude could easily change,” he said.

Mr Forster gave this warning as cattle prices fell again this week. Steers dropped to average 170.1p/kg with heifers down to 165.2p/kg.

Young bulls took the biggest drop to average 168.1p/kg.