The value of Irish beef sales into the UK will fall by around EUR150m (US$197.3m) this year due to the weakness of the sterling against the euro, an industry body warned.

“This week, sterling has slumped to an all-time low against the euro and this is seriously undermining returns from Irish beef exports to our most important market,” Meat Industry Ireland (MII) said.

The sterling-euro exchange rate has fallen by 10% over recent weeks to reach 89 pence to the Euro.

“This major currency factor, combined with weaker consumer spending power across all EU markets, especially on steak cuts, and the virtual collapse of the hide market have all, inevitably, impacted on cattle prices in recent weeks. Any suggestion that the weakening in cattle prices recently is not justified by market conditions is simply wrong,” MII commented.