November 27, 2008
A 20 percent weakening in sterling compared to this time last year is undercutting the value of Irish beef sales to the British market, which accounts for 55 percent of total Irish export.
Meat Industry Ireland (MII), which represents processors, made the claims yesterday (Nov 26) when pointing out that the recession is hitting the Irish beef sector.
MII said negative comments on Irish processors ignore the fact that Irish processors have delivered cattle prices year-to-date that are 17 percent up on 2007.
It said this increase in Irish cattle prices compares very favourably with an 8 percent increase in cattle prices on the continent and 8 percent and 11 percent increases in prices in Britain and Northern Ireland respectively.
It added that this has been achieved in an extremely difficult market environment, with difficulties caused by falling sterling values compounded by sharp declines in consumer spending due to the credit crunch.
Further, it pointed out that the majority of Irish beef sales to Britain has to operate in a far more competitive and price sensitive segment of the market than domestic prime beef.