IFA President John Bryan said now is the time for winter finishers to hold and demand an immediate price increase from the factories for cattle out of sheds. He said winter finishers cannot sell cattle at a loss and need an immediate and substantial price increase from the factories.
Mr Bryan said cattle prices in both Northern Ireland and Britain are rising by up 10c/kg in the last 10 days. Prices across all of the main European markets are also rising up 3c to 6c/kg. World market prices have reached record levels.
The IFA President accused the factories of holding back on a much-needed price increase here. He said demand for beef is exceptionally strong. “Supermarkets and factories need the cattle and they do not have an alternative supply base.”
John Bryan said, “IFA, together with the NFU from England, Scotland and Wales and the Ulster Farmers’ Union have called a cattle price summit in Wales for next week. Winter finishers are not going to take another year of losses. With price increases across the water, the finger is being firmly pointed at the Irish beef processing industry for holding back on a price increase.”
The IFA President said winter finishers should put the handbrake on and hold out for a substantial price rise from the factories. He said feeders cannot afford to sell at current loss making prices. Feed costs are up €60 – €70/t. Teagasc have produced the figures to show feeders need a price of €3.50/kg to €3.70/kg for cattle out of shed.
On the supply side, John Bryan said the factory kill is up 120,000 head, live exports are up 55,000 head and the CMMS data is showing 330,000 head less cattle in the country. All of this points to the fact that cattle numbers are tightening and will become very scarce.