Eblex claims price rise following export success
Published:  21 December, 2010

The opening of more non-EU markets for beef producers has already prompted an increase in prices for certain cuts and offal, Eblex has claimed.

Trade feedback and estimated figures from Eblex suggest flanks have risen by 30p, from £1.40/kg to £1.70/kg since nine new markets, mainly in Africa, were opened in August.

The levy body said the biggest benefit of its work so far has been in finding markets for fifth-quarter products and some cuts of meat that are not readily consumed on the home market.

Tripe has seen a rise of around 30p/kg, while liver, skirts, cheeks and hearts are also all said to have benefited from additional sales in foreign markets.

Increased access to even more markets outside Europe, especially the Chinese market, should have an even greater impact, Eblex said.

Peter Hardwick, head of trade development at Eblex, said: “We are working very hard on behalf of producers and processors to create greater demand for all of the different cuts that come from a carcase. Currently, some of the less utilised cuts and offal, from carcases produced in England, are actually a cost to the industry.

“By opening new markets, we can ensure domestic producers have an outlet for more of the carcase.

“We have feedback from exporters that many of the less-used cuts and offals are already rising in price as a result of the work already done. The flanks are a prime example of this.”

The news comes as Eblex is proposing to devote more resources to increasing exports and opening new markets, funded by a rise in the current levy rate by 18%. It said the work would further increase demand for English beef products, and help balance the carcase, as specific cuts not saleable in the UK are shipped to where the markets exist, turning an industry cost into an income.

Until recently, following on from the end of the Date-based Export Scheme in 2006, which was set up in the wake of the BSE crisis, the number of export markets has remained limited. The industry’s UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP) helps Defra prioritise potential export markets where there is a demand for British beef, which includes the provision of industry resources.

Eblex said it has helped ensure that generic export certificates for some countries are more easily available, helping to open the door to exporters.