Beef and pork prices rise 'dramatically'

By Aaron McDonald

- Last updated on GMT

Beef and pork prices rise 'dramatically'
At an 11% year-on-year increase per kg, beef prices have reached an all-time high, according to Beacon Purchasing.

Citing one of its data suppliers, it claimed that beef prices increased by 40 pence per kg in July 2016. Pork is also facing a similar fate, with costs rising almost a third on 2016. Current prices are 20% higher than they were in 2015.

"The cost of British, Irish and imported beef has risen and continues to rise dramatically, with current prices at an all-time high," commented Paul Connelly, managing director of Beacon.

"Prime beef and trim is in huge demand from both the UK retail and foodservice sectors, but also more critically from abroad. The latest foodservice inflation figures show that costs are up by 9%, the highest they have been in nine years and it is only a matter of time before suppliers and foodservice outlets will not be able to swallow up these increases and they'll begin to be passed on to the consumer."

Beef prices

Connelly said that, in the long-term, Beacon predicted beef prices would begin to ease, although pork is experiencing a different outlook.

"The increased and strong export market is making cattle an attractive farming proposition again and, through an 18-month turnaround period, we could see the availability of UK beef increase and therefore prices steady,"​ he explained.

"The same cannot be said for pork production, which looks likely to struggle to remain competitive against international exporters and adverse exchange rates - so your sausages may be set to stay pricey."

Supply and demand

According to Connelly, UK prime cattle prices have been hit by supply and demand factors. This has been coupled with a rapid increase in demand for UK beef and a positive export market. Imported cattle prices are also sitting at an all-time high, thanks in part to the weak pound and an increase in demand from other world markets.

In the pork sector, a rise in farmers that have left the market has led to pork price increases, due to a reduction in supply and an increase in costs. More demand from China has also meant that imported pork prices have continued to rise.

Beacon Purchasing works with a range of suppliers to deliver product and service solutions to the foodservice sector.

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