Beef prices wilt under heat

This summer has seen a fall in demand for beef, and a subsequent drop in both prime cattle and cull cow prices.

But EBLEX chairman John Cross has warned producers they should avoid panic-selling under-finished stock as this will lead to further price drops.

The hot weather in July was being blamed for the reduction in prices, as roasts were off the menu and steer prices fell nearly 6% to 106p a kg. Demand for barbecue beef did not make up the shortfall.

EBLEX has also reported a shortage of good grass for finishing, again due to the heat, has reduced the quality of some beef animals. Despite this, Cross is convinced the underlying market is stable and prices will recover.

"The domestic market is in good shape," said Cross. "Market mechanics are totally different today from a year ago. There is less South American beef available, and on top of that there is good demand for our beef. We would urge producers to continue to market animals in an orderly fashion."