Strong Demand in the Uk Provides Processors with Negotiating Strength to Protect Market Returns to Farmers – Woods

IFA President Joe Healy has welcomed the move by the Minister for Agriculture to convene a meeting of the Beef Forum as a matter of urgency following the decision by the UK to leave the EU.

Joe Healy said the Beef Forum must provide clear direction and certainty for beef farmers in relation to our most important export market, both in the short term and the long term.

The IFA President said, “The UK market is heavily dependent on supplies of Irish beef. It is vital that our processors take full advantage of the strong market conditions to protect farmers. The current markets conditions in the UK, driven by tight supplies and strengthening prices, put our beef processors in a strong negotiating position to protect returns to farmers during this short-term volatility”.

IFA Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said cattle prices in the UK continue to strengthen on the back of tight supplies, providing a real opportunity for our factories to maximise returns for Irish beef, which is best placed to meet the strong demand.

“While the UK is an important market for Irish beef, half of our exports go to other European and international markets, which are not directly impacted by these events.”

The IFA Livestock Chairman said supplies of suitably-finished cattle remain extremely tight. Factory agents are very active on the ground in attempts to secure numbers of cattle for immediate slaughter. Farmers should strongly resist lower-quoted prices. This week steers are trading at €4/kg and heifers at €4.10/kg despite factories attempting to quote lower prices.

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