Interest muted for sheepmeat storage

ONLY 1254t of private storage aid has been tendered for in the first round of the EU sponsored sheepmeat scheme, confirming industry speculation that the offer would attract only limited interest.

The scheme, announced at the end of July, allows abattoirs to bid for store lamb for up to seven months, taking pressure off the market.

Figures released on Wednesday by the Intervention Board revealed that 59 bids, ranging from Euro1256/t (787/t) to Euro2611/t (1637/t), had been received by the closing date of Aug 27.

Peter Scott, director of the British Meat Federation, said he was not surprised. “The need to prevent fraud means a lot of bureaucracy and this makes the whole scheme very ponderous.”

But Jane Connor, chief sheep economist for the Meat and Livestock Commission, reckoned firms may be simply be testing the water for the next round which is open until Sept 17.

The adjudication process will take place today (Aug 31) at the European Commission management committee meeting.


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