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HomeBeef‘Up to €4.45/kg’ for heifers as factories ‘struggle’ to get suitable cattle
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Up to €4.45/kg’ for heifers as factories ‘struggle’ to get suitable cattle

According to the IFA, beef prices are up another 5c/kg this week.

However, the farm organisation has said that beef prices are still “lagging behind” market returns despite the increase.

Echoing last week’s call, livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, said factories are not reflecting the strength of the market in prices to farmers.

He pointed to the latest Prime Export Benchmark price, which has opened a gap of 17c/kg with the Prime Irish price. Golden said this demonstrates beef markets’ strength.

“Factories are paying €4.25/kg for steers and €4.30/kg for heifers freely this week, with up to €4.40/kg paid for steers and €4.45/kg for heifers as they struggle to get suitable cattle.”

“Cow prices are ranging from €3.50/kg to €4.00/kg, depending on grade with young bulls grading R/U making €4.20/kg to €4.40/kg.”


Golden added that supplies of prime cattle are “extremely tight”.

Last week’s kill of steers came in at just over 13,000 head, and the heifer kill dropped by over 800 head on the previous week to just over 10,000.

According to the DAFM’s database, the national beef kill stood at 35,534 head for the week commencing November 22nd, 2021.

Last week’s kill [data from the DAFM’s database beef classification and price reporting division]:

  • Young bulls: 3,019;
  • Bulls: 514;
  • Steers: 13,151;
  • Cows: 8,655;
  • Heifers: 10,120.

During the same week last year, factories processed 36,837 cattle, bringing the total throughout in that period to 1,61,6995 compared to its current levels of 1,539,336 head.

Return full value

Golden said there is no justification for prices to lag behind the Prime Export Benchmark Price by 17c/kg.

“Factories must start returning the full value of the current market in beef prices offered to farmers.

“Cracks are appearing in the stranglehold factories have had on prices over the past few weeks.”

He advises farmers to sell “hard in what is a very strong market” for beef. Golden reported that supplies are not meeting the lucrative Christmas demand.

See more beef price updates.

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