IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said market conditions for beef in our key export markets are favourable and justify a stronger beef price.
He said the supply demand balance for beef is good and improving as supplies in Britain dropped by over 6,819 in the past week, with prices increasing by a further 1.4p/kg.
“This strengthens the opportunity for factories to increase prices in this important market and offset the impact of a slightly weaker sterling, which at this point is also showing signs of strengthening,” he said.
In the EU, young bull prices have been strong and steady and are currently running above our prices on the Prime Export Benchmark tracker.
He said projections from Bord Bia are for an increase in demand for forward store and finished cattle for live export to NI in the last quarter of the year, which will add competition to trade in the coming weeks and months.
The IFA Livestock Chairman said the narrative over the past few weeks from factories is not accurately reflecting the realities of the market place.
He said there is no justification for weakening in beef price and attempts by factories to do so is clearly opportunistic when the facts of our key markets are appraised.
“Factories must return the full value of the market place in beef prices. There is no justification for a gap of over 28c/kg with our main markets,” he said.
He said despite factories offering lower quotes to some farmers, prices of €4.75 to €4.85/kg are still being paid as base prices for steers and heifers, with higher prices available for larger and specialist lots. Young Bulls are making €4.70/kg to €5.00/kg, with the cow trade remaining firm ranging from €4.40/kg to €4.90/kg.