Seldom have we seen the EU beef market so depressed. Not only are prices on the floor but the grey clouds of a no-deal Brexit continue to gather. An EU without the UK would see the internal market left with close to a one million tonne beef surplus. The impact on price would be heightened by the fact that many of the tools available to the European Commission to deal with such a shock, such as export refunds or intervention, have either been disabled or would be ineffective in their current form.
A trend that also has to be considered is the extent to which the beef industry has, to date, lost the environmental argument. All data profiling beef consumption levels over the past number of months reinforce the view that an increasing number of consumers view eating less beef as doing their bit for the environment.