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Volume 884: debated on Tuesday 21 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what are the prospects of a further glut of beef in 1975; and what is the outlook for the beef industry in the Province in the next few months.

It is expected that total supplies of beef in the United Kingdom will be adequate to meet demand in 1975. The level of home-produced supplies is expected to be similar to that of 1974. It is hoped that the pattern of marketings will be more orderly in 1975 than in 1974 so that in the short term available supplies will more closely relate to demand. Since the introduction of the variable premium scheme on 18th November 1974, cattle prices in Northern Ireland have been improving slowly but steadily. The outlook for the next few months will depend largely on the arrangements which are currently being discussed in Brussels.