Intervention beef could hit cattle prices

By Farmers Weekly staff

FEARS that finished cattle prices could be hit by the release of 2300t of intervention beef for processing in the latest round of tendering by processors are being played down by the industry.

MLC economist Jane Connor says availability of 500t of forequarter, 200t of shoulder and 300t of brisket cuts for production of mince is more likely to displace imports of frozen supplies destined for processing rather than hit freshmeat sales.

The Intervention Board is also making 1300t of thick flank available for processing. Total supplies being released are equivalent to 6% of the 44,000 head weekly kill and add to the 10,000t released earlier this year.

“While take-up of intervention supplies is a factor in determining beef prices, it is important to remember that not all stocks are taken up at each round of tendering,” emphasises Mrs Connor.

NBA chairman, Robert Forster, says : “It is better to release stocks now when there is a 24% shortfall in domestic supplies rather than in the post CPAS era when more beef cattle will be coming forward.”

Federation of Freshmeat Wholesalers Peter Scott agrees. “It will be a good thing to get intervention stocks out of the way.”

Typical prices for tendered supplies include flank for processing into mince at £368/t, forequarter for processing at £703/t, and unrestricted use of stripped loin at £3015/t, according to IB data.

  • Live cattle values firm, FWi, today (15 April, 1999)

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