Stronger Beef Markets Must Translate into Higher Prices for Farmers

IFA Livestock chair Declan Hanrahan said tight supplies and strong demand are driving the beef trade in our key export markets.

The EU Benchmark Price has increased by 13c/kg since the beginning of April, with the UK beef price steady at over 60/kg above our price.

“Factories had to increase quotes by over 5c/kg last week, but this is not keeping pace with market prices and must increase further.  Most factories are quoting €5.15/kg for steers and €5.20/kg for heifers.  In reality, they are having to pay 5c-15c/kg above these prices to secure cattle,” he said.

He said prices of up €5.30/kg base price have been offered this week.  This is a clear indication of the direction that beef prices must take over the coming weeks and months.

Bord Bia is predicting a reduction of 30,000 to 40,000 cattle for the year. Supplies will be extremely tight over the coming weeks and months.  Some 70,000 fewer cattle will be available between now and year end, compared to 2023.

Declan Hanrahan said the strong performance of live exports this year will further reduce availability for factories.  Store and finished cattle exports are already up over 7,000 head on 2023, with solid demand predicted for the year.

“Factories have to offer realistic quotes to farmers and increase beef prices to align with the strength of our key outlets for beef.”

He said demand for cull cows remains strong with prices ranging from €4.30 to over €5/kg depending on grade. R and U grade young bulls are making €5.30 to €5.60/kg.

Related Articles