October 26, 2011


UK's beef supply stabilises



UK'S beef supply is beginning to stabilise, according to the latest figures from the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS).


The data, analysed by the English Beef and Lamb executive (Eblex), showed that just under 2.63 million calves were registered with BCMS between August 2010 and July 2011 - around 20,000 more than a year earlier. The figure is also 65,000 higher than in 2008/9, bringing annual registrations almost back up to the level of 2007/8.


Eblex senior market analyst Debbie Butcher said, "Dairy-sired calf numbers fell back slightly on the previous year, a sharp fall in male registrations more than cancelling out a further annual rise in dairy heifers which may be related to the increasing use of sexed semen."


"Almost certainly reflecting the extent to which higher feed prices have affected pure-bred bull beef viability, the relative figures suggest more than 100,000 dairy bull calves may have been lost to the beef industry last year. The data shows that Limousins were the most widely used beef sire, continuing to record more than double the registrations of the next most popular breed," said Butcher.


Charolais and Aberdeen Angus bulls were the joint second most popular sires, with Charolais falling by 3% during the year while Aberdeen Angus's popularity increased by 6%.


Simmentals, British Blues and Herefords also experienced noticeable on-year registration growth.


Butcher said, "Among the less widely-used beef breeds, Salers, Montbeliardes, Luings, Beef Shorthorns, Lincoln Reds, Dexters and Longhorns all saw increases of more than 5% in their annual registrations, most on top of clear increases in previous years."

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