Factory Beef Price Cuts Unjustified

IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed will have to get tough with the meat factories at the Beef Forum later this week.

He said, “Farmers are very angry at the way the factories are continuing to pull prices and undermine the beef market and confidence in the sector since the Brexit outcome.”

Angus Woods said farmers are resisting factory pressure on prices and rejecting the lower quoted prices. He said, despite dropping quotes, farmers are digging in for a base of €3.90 on steers and €4.00/kg on heifers. “Supplies are tight and in cases where the lower quoted prices were rejected, factory agents have had to revert with higher prices to get cattle,” Woods said

The IFA Livestock Leader said UK cattle prices are continuing to rise strongly since the Brexit outcome.

In addition he said the Sterling exchange has strengthened considerably. He said “Since the Brexit result, UK cattle prices have risen 7p/kg and the exchange has strengthened from 87p back to 83.5p/€. The UK R3 steer price for week ending July 9th was at £3.39/kg, which is equivalent to €4.27/kg including VAT.

Angus Woods pointed out that taking account of the increase in the UK prices and the exchange rate adjustments, UK beef prices have only come back by the equivalent of 15c/kg since Brexit. However, he said the factories are trying to impose as much as a 30c/kg cut at farm level on the back of this.

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