IFA reaction to move by China on Irish beef imports

IFA Livestock Chairperson Brendan Golden said the suspension of access to the Chinese market was disappointing and that it must be resolved quickly.

“Given that we had only recently regained access, it’s a setback that we could do without,” he said.

Brendan Golden said returning to the Chinese market as soon as possible is important. Demand for beef in our key export markets – the UK and EU – is strong. Supplies of suitable in-spec cattle is tightening and there should be no negative impact on beef price.

He said beef prices are rising as factories build stocks for the lucrative Christmas trade. The gap with Prime Export Benchmark is still over 30c/kg, showing the capacity in these markets. It must be closed with higher beef prices.

“The move by China is a technical issue resulting from the discovery of a case of A-Typical BSE in a ten-year old cow in this country. Under the protocol, Ireland is required to submit a detailed epidemiological report,” he said.

“Given the nature of this case, once the report is reviewed by the Chinese authorities, there should be no delay in regaining access,” he said.