Welsh cattle prices down, due to cheap imports and festive hangover, says HCC

A traditional January fall in demand along with increased quantities of Polish and Irish beef available have led to a fall in Welsh cattle prices, according to Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) - Meat Promotion Wales.

Latest HCC figures show that the all prime cattle average price for the week ending 1 February was 189p/kg, 7p down on the same period last year.

John Richards, HCC’s industry and market information officer, said: “Liveweight cattle prices at Welsh auction marts have eased as a result of the usual drop in consumer demand during January.

“This is because consumer budgets are still suffering from the festive hangover, with household austerity remaining a top priority.

“Another possible reason is the increased volume of imported beef, particularly from Ireland. The latest data for November shows that beef and veal imports were 7% higher than year-earlier levels.”

Polish beef and veal exports to the rest of the EU increased by 4% to 240,000 tonnes in the first 10 months of 2013.

Richards said: “It has also been reported that there are substantial quantities of cheaper Polish cow beef available on the Continent. This has had a real impact on the cull cow trade.”

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