Beef Price Increase not Keeping Pace with Markets

IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said beef prices have moved on by 5c-10c/kg this week, but are still lagging behind the returns from our key export markets where prices continue their strong growth.

This is reflected in the latest Prime Export Benchmark price of €4.24/kg, which is now 13c/kg above our Prime Composite price.

Brendan Golden said since the beginning of October, the Prime Export Benchmark price has increased by 12c/kg to its current levels.  Over the same period, factories have held our prices stagnant which is completely unjustified in the current market.

Supplies of finished cattle are extremely tight, with last week’s kill dropping to 35,652, a drop of 2,000 cattle in the past two weeks.  The steer kill alone was down 1,600 head in the past week.

Based on supply predictions from Bord Bia, which have been very accurate to-date, numbers of finished cattle available to factories over the coming weeks will be limited and farmers should take full advantage to drive prices on.

Brendan Golden said lucrative Christmas orders are being filled by factories as demand for beef heats up in our key markets. 

“Supplies of suitable cattle are extremely tight here and in the UK.  Farmers should dig in and sell hard to push factories into paying the prices justified in the market place,” he said.

“The current prices of €4.20 for steers and €4.25 for heifers are a long way short of the market and must be increased.  Factories are paying up to €4.35/kg for steers and €4.40/kg for heifers for specialist and larger lots.  Young bulls are making €4.15/kg to €4.30/kg.  Culls cows are ranging from €3.50/kg to €4.00/kg,” he said.

The IFA Livestock Chairman said factories must come forward with prices that reflect the reality of the market place and increased production costs as beef farmers experience unsustainable input price inflation.

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