The Farmers’ Union of Wales are reiterating warnings of the disastrous consequences of a no-deal Brexit on the Welsh sheep sector which are being felt once again since the newly accounted Prime Minister’s promise of leaving the EU on 31st October.
According to the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA), EU retailers are refusing to sign long-term contracts for UK lamb exports due to the likelihood of them having to pay tariffs of 40-65% on lamb under a contract agreement after 31st October. Instead, retailers are offering ‘spot prices’ for lamb for immediate delivery which would make UK produce uncompetitive once tariffs are introduced.
The run-up to 31st March saw plans to either cull or offer compensation for unsaleable lambs, an approach that could be vital for securing our Welsh Lamb industry after 31st October.
The beef industry was faced with a similar situation in the run-up to 31st March in addition to the stockpiling of Irish beef imports which have since been flooding the market and reducing prices for UK producers. It is imperative that the same doesn’t occur for our lamb industry which could see the abolishment of premium high-priced markets.
The BMPA highlights that the National Sheep Association and AHDB are forecasting a 25% drop in farmgate lamb prices when we leave the EU, and Hybu Cig Cymru suggests that 92.5% of our lamb export trade could disappear under a no-deal scenario.