Beef prices fall after volatility caused by the horse meat scandal

16 August 2013 by
Beef prices fall after volatility caused by the horse meat scandal

Beef prices have fallen for the first time in months, indicating a stabilisation in prices after the volatility caused by the horse meat scandal.

According to Prestige Purchasing's market overview for August, beef prices have fallen across all grades. It said that discounted Polish beef available in the UK was creating greater competition and driving prices down.

With summer in full swing, sales of burgers and bbq meats improved by almost 30% year-on-year. However, total beef sales were down 8% year-on-year, helping push down prices.

The largest variation in the month was that of onions, which went up 34.3%. But most other vegetables saw a fall in price, including garden peas (-25.4%), cabbage (-20%), carrot (-16.7%) and cauliflower (-16.7%).

Meanwhile, the price of red and white potatoes fell 14.1% and 6.3% respectively. Prestige said: "The state of the potato market is still in a bit of disarray from the devastating weather that hit the 2012 stocks, but it is hoped next month that the situation will start to see some proper signs of improvement as 2013 harvests begin to reach the markets."

Other notable price moves included tomatoes, of which salad and beef are now best priced, and berries, which fell thanks to a substantial crop.

This month's key moves:
• New Season Lamb prices have fallen by over 17%. However, higher prices are expected going forward as the imports from New Zealand are reduced towards the end of 2013.
• Pork has not seen the same price decreases, and has gone up again this month, but increases have been minimal at 0.4% for British pork and EU pork, and could suggest markets are stabilising.
• Poultry prices in the UK have remained steady this month, with both chicken broiler and fresh duck prices continuing unchanged after dropping in price last month
• Melon prices have seen some variation, with galia (+6.25%) and honeydew (+34.6%) going up in July whilst watermelons (-40.5%) have fallen.
• Tomatoes have primarily decreased this month with beef tomatoes (-23.1%), plum tomatoes (-6.7%), round tomatoes (-8.5%), salad tomatoes (-54.5%) and vine tomatoes (-6.7%) all falling in price. Cherry tomatoes (+19.8%) are the only exception to this, seeing an increase.
• Cod has gone up by around 6% this month (dependent on size), and haddock over 65% (again, size dependent), driven by cuts to the Barents sea quota. White fish in general has gone up this month - with hake (+4.5%), ling (+28.3%) and whiting (28.2%) all increasing in price.
• Coldwater prawns prices have fallen by 13% - for the second month running - and black tiger prawns have only increased marginally (+0.7).

Operators hit as food costs soar >>Salmon and butter costs soar as food inflation continues to rise >>

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