IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman Henry Burns said farmers were fighting back hard against the factories on cattle prices this week. “With the improving weather situation, farmers are very busy and factories are finding it extremely difficult to get cattle. Factories are having to pay 5-10c/kg over quoted prices to get numbers.”
The IFA livestock leader said the factories had used the bad weather situation over the last 3 weeks to attack cattle prices in a most unjustified way. “With the change in the weather, it is going to take a lot more than the quoted price to buy cattle this week.”
Henry Burns said, “Some plants had offered €3.95/kg last Saturday and were told where to go. These same plants were back last Sunday night looking for the cattle, offering €4.05/kg and had to get the stock for early Monday morning. They were also paying €4.15-€4.20 for heifers.”
Henry Burns said the kill at just 23,412 for week ending July 15<sup>th</sup> was the lowest in 3 years and proved the massive misinformation being propagated by the factories that they were full of stock.
The IFA livestock leader said cattle prices in our main export market in the UK remain very strong at the equivalent of €4.49/kg as reported by An Bord Bia. In addition, he said the exchange rate with sterling had improved steadily over the last 3 weeks.
Henry Burns said Minister Coveney needs to react to the negative message from the meat factories on cattle prices and secure the recommencement of the live export trade to Libya, Egypt and the Lebanon without further delay. He said against the price cutting tactics of the factories, Minister Coveney must re-open the live trade for price competition and alternative market outlets.