“Beef prices must move on to keep pace with the significant increases in UK and EU cattle prices.”
That is according to IFA livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, who pointed to the latest Prime Export Benchmark price of €4.19/kg.
He outlined that this is 9c/kg above the prime Irish composite price of €4.10/kg.
Beef prices November 2021
“Beef prices in our key markets have strengthened consistently over the past number of weeks, up 10c/kg, against a background of static Irish prices.”
Furthermore, the IFA livestock chairman advises farmers to “dig in and sell hard” as prime cattle supplies are “well short” of market demand.
He said the base prices – €4.20/kg for steers and €4.25/kg for heifers – factories are offering to most farmers are lagging behind what the market is returning and must “push on”.
“Attempts by some factories to lower cow prices are unjustified and should be resisted,” he said.
Golden said farmers face a continual increase in production costs that they cannot avoid. Therefore, he said factories must reflect these hikes in the beef price.
He stressed that the meat factories must factor rising production costs in supply contracts with supermarkets and return to farmers in higher cattle prices.
He said demand for beef is “strong” and will increase over the coming weeks as supplies continue to tighten. Meanwhile, UK supplies are predicted to be 5% below 2020 levels over this period.
“The reduced numbers of suitable prime cattle for slaughter in Ireland that is available to factories over the coming months is very evident on the ground.”
Based on throughput to date, Bord Bia predicts there will be some 40,000 fewer cattle to slaughter between now and year-end.
Concluding, the IFA livestock chairman said as a starting point the strength of our key markets must be returned immediately in the higher prices justified by the current market conditions.