IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said anger among beef finishers was at breaking point over continuing factory beef price, cuts and he accused some processors of taking advantage of the difficulties on bulls to undermine in-spec steer and heifer prices.
He said the reality is there is good market demand for in-spec steers and heifers and factories should be well capable of maintaining last week’s base prices of €4.00/kg for steers and €4.10/kg for heifers.
Henry Burns said cattle feeders are very angry with the current tactics of the factories which are negative and damaging to their farmer suppliers and the livestock sector. He said the factories have a major responsibility to maintain confidence in the sector, and by continuing to cut prices they are seriously undermining confidence with major implications for future production.
Henry Burns pointed out that in our largest export market in the UK, the sterling exchange rate had improved from 84p against the €uro in December to 82p over recent days, a gain worth of 10c/kg.
In addition he said R grade steers in the UK are making £3.81/kg, which is the equivalent of €4.82/kg and heifers are making £3.78/kg, equivalent to €4.78/kg including vat. “At these price returns in our largest market, it is very difficult for farmers to understand why quotes were reduced again this week.”
On the Continent, Henry Burns said bull prices in the main markets in like Italy, Germany, France and Spain have all improved since last December.