IFA President John Bryan has warned factories bosses of mounting farmer anger at the savage cuts in cattle prices quotes, at a time when supplies are low and prices are much stronger on all our main markets in Northern Ireland, Britain and Europe.
John Bryan said beef producers and IFA livestock representatives would be meeting factory managers this week to highlight their anger. He said the IFA would be holding a special meeting of the Livestock Committee and Executive Council early next week to decide on the course of action farmers will take to defend their livelihoods in what is one of the worst summers for weather and cattle performance.
Mr Bryan called on the factory bosses to address immediately the market discrepancies in cattle price quotes. He said with cattle kill numbers at historically low levels, farmers should sell hard and strongly resist attempts by factories to pull prices so far below those operating in our main markets.
IFA Livestock Chairman Henry Burns has rounded on the factories for dropping quotes this week below €3.90/kg. He said, “At a time of rising input costs on farms and atrocious weather, farmers are furious with the factories for blatant profiteering when markets are firmer and cattle are still scarce.”
Henry Burns pointed out that cattle price trends in Britain and our main continental European markets have risen in recent weeks, with tight supplies of finished cattle all across Europe.
“Instead of paying a realistic price, the factories have taken advantage of the weaker euro to line their own pockets. The result is there is an unprecedented gap opening with the UK, with VAT inclusive equivalent prices of €4.25/kg in the North and up to €4.60/kg in Britain. Meanwhile, all our main continental markets are running well in excess of €4/kg.”
Henry Burns also challenged the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to move immediately to secure live exports to markets such as Libya.