Beef prices are slipping again after excessively low over the summer, with market volatility a continuing concern, livestock chairman Alistair Mackintosh told NFU council recently.

However, he predicted better times after Christmas as corn prices rise and it becomes uneconomic to finish black and white bull calves, meaning there will be a tightening of supply and firmer New Year prices.

He also reported a distinctly mixed verdict at markets on of movement recording and EID in sheep, with some describing as ‘good enough with a tolerance’ and others reporting it works less than 50 per cent of the time.

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