16 March 1999
Subsidy reform could boost beef

BEEF prices will harden in the aftermath of the planned reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), according to industry consultant Dr David Allen.

Dr Allen believes that prices will remain “stable to firm” as a result of the package, although he warns that some of the details could affect the industry in unexpected ways.

Mr Allen, a former senior technical official for the Meat & Livestock Commission, believes the “headline” reductions in support prices will prove largely irrelevant.

In a market likely to be dominated by a fairly tight supply of cattle, he expects an average UK price of around 85p/kg liveweight in the early years of the new millennium.

But his forecasts are still below the £1/kg that many in the industry believe must be achieved for beef production to be viable.