IFA National Livestock committee Chairman Michael Doran said winter finishers must dig in on cattle prices and strongly reject the scaremongering and concerted efforts of the factories and agents to undermine beef market confidence and cattle prices.
Michael Doran said feeders should hold out hard and insist on higher prices. He said “feed, fertilisers and fuel prices have rocketed in recent weeks adding at least 25c/kg costs and feeders cannot afford to sell cattle at lower prices”.
The IFA livestock leader accused the factories of concerted moves to scupper cattle prices and undermine market confidence. He said the factories are showing a serious lack of commitment and scant regard for winter finishers.
Michael Doran said some factories were threatening farmers if they did not sell this week. He said this along with the move by some processors to kill their own feedlot cattle is a reflection of how tight supplies are and should only encourage feeders to hold out on prices.
The IFA livestock leader said €3.36/kg of a base price has been paid for steers and €3.42/kg to €3.50/kg for heifers and bulls. Quality cows have made €2.94/kg to €3.08/kg.
Michael Doran pointed out that the Minister for Agriculture had opened up the Turkish market, a high price outlet for bull beef exports. However, none of the main factories had responded to this opportunity.
The IFA livestock leader reaffirmed the key market factors for the beef trade and highlighted the projections for tight cattle supplies this spring and higher beef market price returns:
Cattle supplies this spring will be extremely tight
2010 slaughterings at the meat factories were up 118,000 head or 8%.
The Department of Agriculture/CMMS/AIMS statistics shows that there were 330,000 less cattle in the country in 2010 compared to 2009.
2010 live exports reached record levels of 340,000 head, up 19% on 2009 levels.
Beef market returns in the UK, EU and across the world are very strong
Cattle prices in the UK are reported at £2.92/kg, equivalent to €3.61/kg.
EU cattle prices are ranging from €3.58/kg in France to €3.95/kg in Italy for R grade males.
World beef market prices have increased dramatically with US prices at the equivalent of €3.05/kg, Brazilian prices at €2.93/kg and Argentinean prices at €2.76/kg.
The value of cattle hides and the fifth quarter has increased significantly from this time last year, with hides worth €40 – €50 per head.
Niall Madigan (01) 450 1931/ 086 822 8635 Morag Devins (01) 426 0344/ 086 263 3940