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Dairy Sector Could Supplement Tight UK Beef

19 August 2015
EBLEX

UK – Pressure in the dairy sector could counter a tightening of prime cattle supplies, say market analysts expecting UK production to fall two per cent this year.

This forecast covers beef and veal production and is from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board in the UK, which expects production to drop to 860,000 tonnes in 2015.

Prime cattle supplies, expected to be tight for the remainder of the year, are now at their lowest level for over 25 years, while dairy cow numbers have seen a resurgence, lifting four per cent in 2014.

Now at 1.57 million head, the beef suckler herd has plummeted over 200,000 head in the past ten years, added the AHDB.

Official data showed “significantly fewer” cattle on the ground between 18 and 24 months of age at the start of the year, although slight rebound in slaughter is expected in 2016 on account of higher numbers of younger cattle in April.

Senior AHDB analyst, Debbie Butcher, said the “significant pressure” in the dairy industry may lead to a reversal in the recent trend for dairy herd growth. 

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