IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said beef prices in our key markets have strengthened over the past week, rising 3c/kg in the UK.
Brendan Golden said demand from supermarkets is strong and cattle numbers are tight.
“There is no hiding place for factories. Prices must push on to reflect the demand for beef in the UK and EU markets,” he said.
The Export Benchmark Price, which IFA has consistently highlighted as the reality of the market place, show prices in our key markets reflecting the demand for beef by increasing each week.
Brendan Golden said factories and their agents are having to work hard to secure supplies and farmers should not accept lower quotes offered.
Steers are making €3.80/kg and heifers €3.85/kg, with higher deals for larger and specialist lots. Young Bulls are making up to €3.90/kg, cows are in strong demand and very few are selling below €3.00/kg. Better quality cows are moving at €3.50/kg and over, in some cases.
“Cattle finishers are experiencing continual increases in production costs and the undermining of the market by factories is not acceptable. The gradual re-opening of the food service sector will drive demand in addition to the seasonal increase for beef for the Easter holiday which is approaching,” he said.
He said farmers understand the issues with Brexit and COVID-19. However, this is no excuse for factories failing to reflect the current market conditions in beef prices.
Brendan Golden said the breakeven price for finishers according to Teagasc is €4.50/kg, current prices are a long way off this and market conditions justify a closing of this gap.