IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said beef prices continue to harden with factories paying up to €4.00 base for steers and €4.10 base for heifers.
He said prime cattle supplies had tightened severely in recent days with some factories unable to procure enough cattle in the week to keep the kill going. In addition, he said finishers are negotiating away penalties on carcase weights in deals involving steers and bulls.
Henry Burns said factories are very active in trying to pin down stock over the next number of weeks and months. He said it is very clear that there will be no early grass cattle and numbers will get very tight. He said finishers with stock should dig in hard with the factories and insist on strong price increases together with favourable specifications for any cattle that they commit.
Henry Burns said some factories are continuing to offer a base of €3.90/3.95 to regular customers but are willing to pay more outside their area and to less regular clients. He said bulls are making €3.90/4.00/kg. Cows are also moving positively with prices ranging from €3.20 to €3.70/kg.