IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman Michael Doran said beef prices at the factories must rise in order to lift winter finishers out of the current loss making situation as a result of higher costs.
Michael Doran said production costs are up dramatically this year with Teagasc calculating the increase at the equivalent of 32c/kg on beef farms. He said feed, fertiliser and fuel costs have rocketed and both factories and retailers must take account of these increases.
On the market side, Michael Doran said the price differential with the average cattle price in our main markets is 29c/kg or over €100 per head. He said R3 grade male cattle prices in the UK are the equivalent of €3.49/kg. In France, R3 cattle prices are €3.56/kg, €3.62/kg in Spain and €3.77/kg in Germany. In our top paying market in Italy, R3 male animals are making €3.92/kg.
In addition, Michael Doran said the factory returns from the increase in the value of the fifth quarter has also increased substantially with high prices making up to €50 per head, which is the equivalent of 14c/kg.
Michael Doran said there is plenty of scope in the market place and in factory returns to provide a substantial increase in cattle prices, in order to cover the higher costs of production