Beef prices increasing in the EU

by Editor
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Steer prices in the EU have risen 7% in recent weeks, as a result of the increasing feed costs and a shortage of Brazilian beef.

This was reported in the Irish Farmers Journal. Other research conducted by the Brazilian Meat Exporter’s Association shows retail prices in the main cities of England and Ireland have increased between 10% to 40% depending on the cut.

EU steer and beef prices usually increase at the beginning of the year, but this year, the current restrictions on Brazilian beef have intensified the rise. The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA) has to draft a provisional list, with the establishments that meet the conditions to export beef to the EU by 31 January 2008, but MAPA has already announced that it will not be able to audit the 10,000 farms in regions eligible to export. Export volumes and prices will depend on the number of Brazilian farms allowed to export.

Currently, importers and retailers with stocks are profiting from the situation, as the expectation is that beef volumes will be restricted in the near future.

In Argentina and Uruguay, heavy steer prices have also increased, especially for traced animals who meet EU requirements. Meatpackers from both countries have experienced a rise in export prices to the EU in recent weeks and are struggling to cope with the increasing demand from importers in the EU.

Hilton (high quality) quota cuts from Argentina are priced at around $15,000 to 17,000/ton (FOB), while rump and loin cuts from Uruguay are priced at around $15,500/ton. It is expected that prices will keep increasing, and producers in these countries will update traceability requirements to EU standards.