11 December 1998

Loss on calves

BEEF producers finishing suckled calves made a gross margin loss of £3/head last year, according to latest MLC figures.

Speaking at the launch of the MLCs beef yearbook, economist Duncan Sinclair said that despite losses last year, profit potential for this year was likely to be better.

"Making any margin on suckled calves depends on buying them at the right price; producers have paid too much for them in the last two years." But this autumns trade, which saw far lower prices, is more likely to leave a margin, he said. "The bonus is that these animals may also be eligible for export." &#42