IFA National Livestock Chair Brendan Golden said improving market conditions and tightening of supplies must be reflected in beef prices.
He said beef farmers have been operating well below the breakeven price projected by Teagasc for the year to-date, losing over €100m for the first 6 months of the year, a situation compounded by the cuts of over 30c/kg in the past month to beef prices by factories.
Brendan Golden said as markets rebound and supplies tighten factories must start reflecting this reality in higher beef prices.
He said beef prices in the UK are over 60c/kg above ours, EU prices have strengthened in recent weeks all contributing to a much stronger Prime Export Benchmark Tracker price compiled by Bord Bia.
The Prime Export Benchmark Price is now effectively on par with our price, rising 30c/kg over the past two weeks, reflecting the turnaround in market conditions in our key export markets.
The IFA National Livestock Chair said these improving market conditions have added significance as supplies of finished cattle tighten on the ground.
Brendan Golden said based on Bord Bia supply projections for the year we are facing into at least 30,000 less finished cattle over the coming months and as live exports of finished and forward store cattle to NI increase this figure could be higher as the year progresses.
He said factories have no hiding place and must reflect the reality of the market place in stronger beef prices.
Brendan Golden said demand for beef is evident with the strength of factory agent activity in marts for all types of forward store and finished cattle where prices are regularly exceeding what some factories are offering finishers.
He said farmers should resist the negative propaganda of factories and their agents, markets have turned and beef prices must rise to reflect this reality and the production costs on beef farms.