IFA President Tim Cullinan has rejected today’s claims by MII around beef prices.
“At last night’s IFA online Beef meeting, attended by 250 farmers, the fact that the Irish price is now 13c behind the Bord Bia Prime Export Benchmark price was highlighted, which is based on a weighted composite price in our main export markets,” he said.
“Beef prices must push on and reflect the reality of the market place,” he said.
Tim Cullinan said despite the claims of MII, Grant Thornton admitted to the Task Force that it doesn’t have the authority to access the information needed for a full and independent appraisal of the value of beef at all points in the supply chain.
Because of these constraints, the output is based only on the information that participants are willing to provide.
“Minister McConalogue outlined the importance of greater transparency in the supply chain and he must now come forward with the primary legislation that allows the Office of the Food Ombudsman/Regulator source and provide this information independently,” he said.
IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said at last night’s meeting farmers expressed disbelief that the EU Commission are attempting to proceed with the Mercosur deal with South American countries.
“It is unbelievable that following Brexit and the added environmental and production controls the EU are imposing on Irish farmers through the CAP that they are looking at allowing more beef into the EU market to further undermine Irish and EU farmers,” he said.
“We will be meeting the Tánaiste and Minister for Trade Leo Varadkar shortly to put the strongest message across that the Irish Government must oppose the deal,” he said.
Brendan Golden said market conditions are strong for beef and are expected to improve, supplies of cattle are tight and factories must return the full value of the market place in increased beef prices.
He said the Easter demand and the returning food service sector in the UK and throughout the EU as vaccines are rolled out will further drive demand for beef. The strong performance of beef in supermarkets is reflecting changes in consumer purchasing habits.
Predictions for the year are of tight supplies of finished cattle in Ireland, the UK and the EU, creating favourable market conditions for Irish beef which must be reflected in prices.
Brendan Golden said prices are strengthening as factories and agents work hard to secure supplies. Steers are making €3.80/kg, heifers €3.85/kg with higher deals for larger and specialist lots. The cow trade also strengthened this week, ranging from €3.00/kg to €3.50/kg with some higher prices paid. Young bulls are making €3.65 to €3.95/kg depending on grade.
Prices in marts for finished and forward store cattle and cows are strong and providing a real competitive alternative for some farmers.