IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said strong supermarket demand for beef continues to drive the trade.
“Despite some factories attempting to dampen the trade this week, factory agents remain very active on the ground and in marts trying to fill orders,” he said.
Prices in GB and NI are strong and steady, reflecting the demand in UK supermarkets where beef sales continue to perform strongly. The latest R4L price for steers in GB is the vat inclusive equivalent of €4.64/kg. He said the latest Prime Irish Composite price is 5c/kg above the Export Benchmark Price.
Brendan Golden said prices this week are €3.80/kg for steers and €3.85/kg for heifers, with higher deals for larger and specialist lots. Y Bulls are ranging from €3.75 to €3.95/kg for R and U grades.
Cows are starting at €3/kg for P grades and pushing up to €3.60/kg at the top end for good grading continentals, with a lot of cows selling in the €3.20-€3.40/kg range.
He said the increased value of consumer purchasing and spending on beef in supermarkets must be reflected in prices to farmers.
“The predictions are for 80,000 fewer cattle this year. Combined with the performance of beef in the key supermarket trade, this creates a positive market environment that must be reflected in beef prices paid to farmers,” he said.
Brendan Golden said farmers unable to secure the higher factory prices should seriously consider the mart trade, where factory agents have been particularly active for finished cattle over the past few weeks.