National Beef Association
For everyone with an interest in the British beef industry

Press Release - NBA urged farmers not to be taken in by attempts to talk down the price of beef

18th May 2012

Region: National

NBA urged farmers not to be taken in by attempts to talk down the price of beef.

There was plenty of talk at Balmoral Show this week about beef prices falling, but the National Beef Association (NBA) says it is still a seller’s market and farmers should not be scared into taking lower prices for their cattle.

Having been at Balmoral Show for all three days of the event, NBA NI Chairman Oisin Murnion says he was shocked by the wide range of reasons being given to talk down the price of beef. While influencers such as lack of grass, cold weather and a falling euro all sound worrying, he says none of them are serious enough to outweigh the simple fact that cattle are still in very short supply.

Mr Murnion says: “I was disappointed to hear so much negative talk at Balmoral. It is in processors’ interest to talk down the price of beef, but farmers should not just accept it as fact and then take a lower price when they send cattle to the factory. Don’t feel you have to take the first price you are offered – shop around and get what you deserve. Some producers may even find they’ll get a better price if they sell into the South

“Yes, there isn’t much grass about and the cold weather is making it difficult to manage cattle outside, but if you’re finishing cattle inside on grain then the weather will not automatically affect the quality or the price of your cattle. I know it’s a difficult season, and we’d all love to see a bit of sunshine and grass growth, but do not let buyers use this as a way to convince you to take a lower price.

“The euro slipping is another reason I’ve heard given as a reason for cattle prices falling, but we need to remain positive. It has slipped a bit, but it’s not dropped through the floor and, at the end of the day, the UK, Europe and the rest of the world is desperate for beef.

“The value of the euro does affect how our beef competes with that from South of the border, but just look at the appetite the Republic of Ireland has to supply international markets. They are putting huge emphasis on places like Libya and China, meaning far less Irish beef for the UK market.

“I know how easy it is to be disheartened by negative talk about the beef sector and beef prices, but I urge fellow producers to not be put off and to recognise the value of their cattle at a time when demand is ever-increasing and supply has never been shorter.”

For more information contact:

Oisin Murnion  NBA NI Chairman  02841 765082  07739 632048
Joanne Pugh  NBA Assistant Director 01772 734707  07579 009648