IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said beef prices have risen 10c/kg this week on the back of tight supplies and strong market demand.
Prices in our key export markets, including the UK, are favourable, creating strong demand for Irish beef in the lead up to the Christmas trade.
“Factories must maintain this upward trajectory of prices and close the gap with the Bord Bia prime export benchmark price, which now sits 30c/kg above the prime Irish composite price,” he said.
“This gap is unacceptable and it is clear factories are not paying what the market justifies, which further erodes beef farmers’ incomes,” he said.
Brendan Golden said anger amongst farmers is growing and rightly so at the behaviour of factories in holding back on price.
He said factories and retailers are acutely aware of the production costs beef farmers are exposed to and must return higher prices that reflect the current market situation and finishing costs on beef farms.
Exports of beef to the lucrative UK market have increased significantly this year, but factories are not returning the value of this increase to farmers.
Base prices for steers and heifers are now making between €4.65kg and €4.80kg, with higher prices for larger and specialised lots.
There is up to 10-15c/kg of a difference between quoted and paid prices, with very few farmers accepting the lower quotes offered by factories.