Beef Prices on the Move, But There’s More in the Market

IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said beef prices have increased a further 10c/kg this week on the back of tight supplies and strong market demand.

Base prices for steers are now €4.80/kg to €4.90/kg, while heifers are ranging from €4.85/kg to €4.95/kg with higher deals available for larger and specialist lots.

Base prices of up to €5.10kg have also been secured at the higher end of the market this week, including deals on haulage and commission in an attempt to secure cattle.

Cow prices have likewise strengthened 10c/kg with quotes between €4.10/kg and €4.60/kg available depending on the grade. Young bulls are making from €4.80/kg to 5.10/kg.

Supplies of suitable finished cattle are extremely tight with last week’s overall throughput dropping to 36,142/head, a fall of 1,700 from the previous week indicating the tightening of cattle supplies.

“Prices in our key export markets are favourable and strengthening, creating strong demand for Irish beef in the run up to the lucrative Christmas trade. Despite the rising movement in beef prices, the Prime Irish composite price continues to lag 34c/kg behind the latest Prime export benchmark. Prices must continue to push on to close this gap,” he said.

The IFA Chairman said factories must maintain this upward trajectory of prices to offset the huge increase in production costs cattle finishers are facing this year, which is estimated to increase by over 29% according to Teagasc.

He said input costs are now at a level that finishers cannot take risks with and factories must come forward with prices that reflect the current situation.

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