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The report, which is part of the red meat levy body’s ‘Between the Lines’​ series of market insights, concludes that global supplies of beef will remain tight for the short to medium term, due to below average production in the EU and US specifically, firm domestic demand in the US, and elevated import demand from China and the rest of Asia.

With food security rising up the agenda in the wake of international crises and rising prices, HCC said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is also impacting trade flows and has led to fuel, grain and fertiliser prices rising significantly. 

However, the HCC report shows more positive news for UK red meat moving forward. 

British beef herd

HCC’s report analyses figures that show that the beef herd in Britain could experience modest growth over the next year. It said the domestic cattle sector produces fewer emissions than the global average, therefore a greater reliance on UK-produced beef may help both in terms of food security and sustainability.

It highlights British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) data which suggests a modest increase in future cattle supply in the UK market, especially in the second half of 2022 and further ahead into 2023, which could help the UK play its part in alleviating potential shortages of beef. 

Report author Glesni Phillips from HCC said: “Farmers are already feeling the effect of rising energy and input costs, but the changes in global trading patterns will take some time to hit the markets, with the average deadweight price of steers and cull cows in particular reaching record highs last week.