Farmgate beef prices ride high on back of horsemeat scandal

The National Beef Asociation (NBA) has reported an uplift in farmgate beef prices as retailers respond to the horsemeat crisis.

According to NBA Commercial, average prime cattle prices across the UK were up by around 3p/kg deadweight last week, with cow prices up by 5p-12p.

"Prices for prime beef cattle and cows have strengthened as UK and EU retailers hurry not just to replace processed beef products that have been implicated in the horsemeat scandal, but also do their best to re-establish, or maintain, their credentials as purveyors of top quality product," explained NBA national director Chris Mallon.

"And this almost universal market move is being reinforced by processing companies, which must replace, at their own cost, manufactured products that may have been tainted with horsemeat and who are in the market for additional quantities of high-provenance beef replacement too."

The NBA said demand for manufacturing beef from European processors and retailers had also helped push up prices.

It urged prime cattle and cow beef finishers to take "maximum advantage" of the uplift by trading every animal that will be ready to sell over the next two weeks.

"We expect this re-fill period to last until the first full week in March, because tens of millions of retail packs thought to have been adulterated by horsemeat have been removed from retail shelves throughout the EU and everyone involved in their replacement is keen to make sure their contents are 100% correct," said Mallon.


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