Frustration and anger among beef farmers is very high at the moment, IFA Livestock Chairman Angus Woods has said.
“Severe cuts in beef prices are damaging store and weanling prices and seriously undermining confidence in the sector. IFA representatives are meeting with factories at local level across the country to highlight the rising anger and concern for the future among farmers over loss-making cattle prices.”
Angus Woods said despite the weekly kill of the past six weeks running on average at over 4,500 ahead of the same weeks last year – or 65,242 cattle in total ahead of last year – market demand for suitable in-spec cattle is strong.
The IFA Livestock Chairman said factories are eroding the confidence of beef finishers by quoting as low as €3.60/kg and €3.70/kg respectively for steers and heifers while having to pay 5-10c/kg above quotes to secure cattle.
He said €3.65/kg is available throughout the country for steers with up to €3.70/kg paid. €3.75/kg is available for heifers with up to €3.80/kg paid.
The Livestock Chairman said supplies of suitable in-spec cattle are not meeting demand and farmers should not accept the lower and unjustified quotes by factories.
He said in-spec bullocks and heifers are in strong demand from the lucrative UK market where prices continue to outperform what is being paid to Irish farmers. British cattle prices have risen by 41p/kg or 13% since May, while Irish cattle prices have fallen from a base of €4.10/kg in June to €3.60/kg, a reduction of 12%.