IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said factories are not reflecting the strength of the market in prices to farmers, even though they went up by another 5c/kg this week.
He said the latest Prime Export Benchmark price has opened up a gap of 17c/kg with the Prime Irish price, reflecting the strength of the market for beef.
Brendan Golden said supplies of prime cattle are extremely tight. Last week’s kill of steers came in at just over 13,000 head and the heifer kill dropped by over 800 head on the previous week to just over 10,000.
“Factories are paying €4.25/kg for steers and €4.30/kg for heifers freely this week, with up to €4.40/kg paid for steers and €4.45/kg for heifers as they struggle to get suitable cattle,” he said.
Cow prices are ranging from €3.50/kg to €4.00/kg depending on grade with young bulls grading R/U making €4.20/kg to €4.40/kg.
Brendan Golden said there is no justification for prices lagging behind the Prime Export Benchmark Price by 17c/kg and factories must start returning the full value of the current market in beef prices offered to farmers.
“Cracks are appearing in the stranglehold factories have had on prices over the past few weeks. Farmers should sell hard in what is a very strong market for beef, with supplies not meeting the lucrative Christmas demand,” he said.