ICSA urges farmers 'not to panic' on cattle prices following Brexit result


Farmers should not panic about the immediate impacts of Brexit on cattle price, according to ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan.

He said that the talk of a Sterling collapse was “overdone”.

“ There is too much sensationalism about Sterling hitting a 31-year low when, in fact, this relates to the exchange rate with the US dollar. From a beef exports point of view, the relevant exchange rate is Sterling / euro,” he said.

Here, we see that the value of Sterling has fallen to about €1.20 since the Brexit decision. However, the rate of exchange throughout 2016 has generally been in the range of €1.25-€1.30. So in fact, the purchasing power of Sterling is down between 4 per cent and 8 per cent.

“Moreover, throughout most of 2012 and 2013, Sterling was worth less than it is now. It is true that Sterling appreciated in 2015 but it was very clear that the benefit of strong Sterling was not passed back to Irish beef farmers at that time. Farmers will remember this was demonstrated by the huge gap that opened up whereby Irish farmers were getting up to €1/kg less than their British counterparts,” said Mr Phelan.

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