Although rising feed costs may be currently causing despondency in the Scottish livestock sector, there were encouraging words yesterday from Iain MacDonald, economics analyst with Quality Meat Scotland.
He stated that producers in this country appeared to be “ahead of the curve” in improving their efficiency and that would maintain profit margins.
He said: “Producers took advantage of strong prices for mature stock throughout 2011 and the first half of this year by culling their least productive breeding animals.” Proof of the rewards of this policy came with statistics showing more calves being born despite a decline in the breeding herd.”
The immediate problem for livestock farmers is the rising cost of grain. However, Macdonald pointed out that a spike in cereal prices tended to be followed – at a lag – by a more modest appreciation in meat prices, hopefully bringing respite.
One further sign of promise is the recent accession of Russia to the World Trade Organisation.
This means it will not only lower its import tariffs on meat, but will also come under pressure to alleviate some of its non-tariff trade barriers.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: West