A QMS report states the rise comes from the fact that Scottish and UK processors have been able to sell beef into mainland Europe creating more buyers for the product, combined with a slow down in cattle availability and strong consumer demand. A spokesperson fir the organisation said: "It is not just the UK who is benefiting from improved prices, a similar pattern is emerging across Europe. At the current levels, UK prices are 12% better than a year ago and the EU average is 8% better than last year. The improvement in French and German prices is a more modest 5%."
The report goes on to state that 'each European market has a slightly different balance between genders in their prime cattle sales and as a result only 11 out of the 25 European member states are officially reporting a steer price. Among these countries, the UK at £2.09 per kg dwt for an R3 grade steer is only surpassed by France, at £2.16. Germany, the biggest producer of beef in Europe, quoted prices of £1.85 per kg for R3 steers. All 25 member states report heifer prices and in this category the UK price for R3 grade heifers is sixth in the hierarchy. The best producer price for heifers last week was £2.74 per kg dwt in Italy, and higher prices were also paid in France, Spain, and Greece than the UK'.
Looking to 2007 it is expected that EU production will slightly decline, and if consumption remains steady prices could see a fractional improvement.