04 November 1998
Royal Bank agriculture man sees better times head

THE Bank of Scotlands senior agricultural adviser, Jimmy McLean, says he sees “faint glimmers of light” ahead for farmers.

“We are starting to see sterling weakening and interest rates falling,” Mr McLean told officials at the Scottish National Fatstock Club. “I am fairly confident these trends will continue over the next two years.”

But short-term pressure on farmers cashflows is likely to increase, Mr McLean warned.

Ian Galloway, managing director of Scotbeef, major suppliers to Marks & Spencer, said the retailer wanted British beef back in its European outlets as soon as the export ban was lifted.

But he warned against having selected meat plants dedicated to the export trade, the route adopted by Northern Ireland.

“We want to see everything under 30 months qualifying for export or domestic use,” he said

Mr Galloway predicted that Italy would among the first countries to import beef. Sales elsewhere would be dictated by the strength of the Pound, he said.

  • The Herald 04/11/98 page 26