Speaking at an IFA lobby of TDs and Senators on the beef crisis in Dublin today, IFA President Joe Healy said a hard Brexit would devastate Ireland’s €3bn beef and livestock sector. He said, “IFA estimate the imposition of WTO tariffs in a hard-Brexit will impose a direct cost on the beef sector of €800m per year”.
Following a visit to Cherbourg, France, IFA National Dairy Chairman Tom Phelan and Livestock Chairman Angus Woods today (Friday) said there is real scope for increased quality lairage capacity for Irish calf exports in the area.
The two IFA farm leaders called on Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed, his officials and all stakeholders in the sector to engage with their relevant counterparts and partners at national and regional level in France to help make this happen.
“We met with the two lairage operators in Cherbourg, and found their facilities to be of very high standard, professionally run by committed staff using best practice which are being controlled by the regional veterinary authorities whom we also met,” the two Chairmen said.
Tom Phelan added: “At a meeting with the Port Authorities, we established that there is real appetite in the region to develop and support the logistical capacity for all types of export activity, especially in the context of Brexit. Our meetings with the lairage operators have shown that they like working with Irish calf exporters and are positively disposed towards catering for increased capacity in future”.
Angus Woods added “Our trip was not just about gathering information. We also wanted to give justified confidence to the local lairage operators, veterinary and Port authorities that the export of calves in best practice conditions out of Ireland was a sustainable trade flow which, while highly seasonal, would see a steady increase and justify continued and additional investment in facilities”.
The National Livestock Chairman added: “For calves just as for weanlings or other stock, the live export trade is a crucial component of the market, providing essential price competition and additional outlets. Securing increased capacity is very important for this valuable trade.”
In 2018, Ireland exported a total of 246,000 live cattle, of which 158,000 were calf exports. The main calf export markets included Spain (92,495), Netherlands (48,922) and Belgium (13,459).
Check out this week cattle prices quoted or paid to IFA Members around the country.
- Steer base €3.75/kg.
- Heifers €3.85/kg.
- Young Bulls O/R/U €3.35 – 3.80/kg.
- Cows €2.60/3.40/kg.
- In-spec bonus 12c/kg above base price.
|FACTORY BASE QUOTES C/KG|
|Dunbia||375||385||260 - 320|
|Kepak Athleague||375||385||260 - 320|
|Moyvalley Meats||375||385||260 - 320|
|Euro Farm Foods||375||385||260 - 320|
|Slaney Foods||375||385||260 - 320|
|Kepak Kilbeggan||375||385||260 - 320|
|Liffey Meats||375||385||260 - 320|
|Kildare Chilling||375||385||260 - 320|
|Dawn Ballyhaunis||375||385||260 - 320|
|Foyle Meats *+10c 320-380kgs||380*||385*||-|
|Ashbourne Meats||375||385||260 - 320|
|Meadowmeats Rathdowney||375||385||260 - 320|
|Charleville Foods||375||385||260 - 300|
|Kepak Watergrasshill||375||385||260 - 300|
|ABP Bandon||375||385||260 - 300|
|ABP Cahir||375||385||260 - 300|
|ABP Waterford||375||385||260 - 300|
|Dawn Grannagh||375||385||260 - 300|
|ABP Nenagh||375||385||260 - 300|
IFA President Joe Healy said the IFA will hold an intensive lobby of all TDs and Senators on the beef crisis in Dublin next Wednesday, February 13th. He said the crisis is due to multiple factors including poor prices, rising costs and reduced direct payments. This has been compounded by the weakness of sterling and the major uncertainty around Brexit.
Joe Healy said compared to this time last year, cattle prices are down by 20/25 cents per kg or €100/head. Cattle finishers with young bulls are facing price cuts of 40c/kg+ and finding it almost impossible to sell their stock.
The IFA President said urgent action is required now by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and the government to ensure the following:
A comprehensive package of market supports and direct aid for farmers from the EU Commission
EU state aid limitations on members states must be set-aside
Strong support for the live export trade to double numbers in 2019 and ensure that no further restrictions are imposed on the trade
Increased funding for suckler cows
Continue to resist a damaging Mercosur trade deal
Insist on an increase in the CAP budget, and
Challenge the meat factories to immediately increase prices and prioritise the young bull kill.
IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said R3 grade young bulls in Ireland are reported at €3.71/kg for w/e Jan 19th.
“Compared to young bull prices across the main EU markets we are way behind with the Italian price at €4.55/kg inclusive vat, the German price at €4.05/kg, French bulls at €4.02/kg and the Spanish price at €3.98/kg,” said the IFA National Livestock Chairman.
“These figures indicate that Irish young bull producers are being short changed by up to 30c/kg compared to our European counterparts,” he said.
The IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said, “We made it very clear to Minister Creed at the IFA AGM last week that he must reconsider his approach, abandon his ‘wait and see attitude’ and get back out to Brussels to secure an immediate aid package for Brexit beef losses”.
Angus Woods said he met with senior EU Commission officials from DG Agri in Brussels last week and put forward a strong case for a Brexit aid package for Irish beef. In addition, he said IFA also met with senior officials in the Department of Agriculture on EU supports.
He said IFA has requested that for every 5c/kg change on the price, Minister Creed needs to secure €20 per head additional direct payment compensation.