IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said market demand for beef and prices in our key export markets show capacity for beef price increases.
He said the attempts by factories to hold back prices by talking down the trade and offering lower quotes is not working.
Tight supplies and strong global demand for beef is underpinning the trade. UK and EU prices have strengthened with the Prime Export Benchmark price increasing by 17c/kg in the past two weeks, opening up a gap of 30c/kg with our price.
“Beef prices must reflect the reality of the market place and move on to close the gap in price with our key markets,” he said.
He said winter finishers are in the process of making key decisions for the coming months. Factories must reflect the realities of the current market in stronger prices now and offer winter finishers minimum price guarantees for their cattle for this Winter and next Spring.
“Input costs are now at levels that cattle finishers cannot take risks with. The sector does not have the capacity to absorb these,” he said.
He said meat factories and multi-national retailers are acutely aware of these costs and must provide a guarantee for farmers in the form of minimum price contracts to maintain our hard-earned, consistent year-round supply of cattle.
Brendan Golden said farmers should strongly resist any attempts by factories to hold back on price and demand increases that reflect the reality of beef prices in our key export markets.