Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Beef prices in Great Britain climbed to an all-time high as the country’s cattle herd slumps to the smallest size in 65 years, according to the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board.
Retail prices for sirloin steak this week average 22.18 pounds a kilogram ($16.53 a pound), an all-time high and 1.9 percent higher than last week, AHDB data show. Prices for all cuts of beef tracked by AHDB, ranging from top steaks to mincemeat, are heading for annual average records this year, said Debbie Butcher, a senior analyst for the Kenilworth, England based researcher.
“Beef is expensive globally, it’s not just a U.K. problem,” Butcher said by telephone today. “We’re not producing more beef because it’s uneconomical in many parts of the world. Countries are not producing more beef, and global demand is increasing.”
The U.K.’s cattle herd, including beef and dairy animals, totaled 9.84 million head as of June 1, the fewest livestock for that data since 1948, according to data from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs released in October. Declines are similar in the U.S., the world’s biggest producer. The U.S. cattle herd in January was the smallest since 1952 as rising feed costs cut profits for producers, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.
--Editors: Claudia Carpenter, John Deane