IFA President Joe Healy said beef price cuts at the meat factories must stop as they are squeezing out any chance of profit for farmers grazing cattle this year.
He said €90 per head had been knocked off cattle prices over the last few weeks and this is costing farmers over €2m per week.
Joe Healy warned the factories that they need to act responsibility as the price cuts are very damaging and eroding confidence at farm level. He pointed out average beef farm incomes are only €16,853 in 2016, including direct payments.
He said the factory price cuts are not justified based on market returns, pointing out that cattle prices in our main market in the UK are equivalent to €4.42/kg.
In addition, he said there is no beef in stock. EU and international markets are stronger than last year and hide and offal returns are also higher. Last year, there was a serious overhang of beef from the cull in the EU dairy sector, which is not the case this year. Cattle numbers will be tighter than originally forecast due to the higher kill earlier this year, increased live exports and lower carcase weights.