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HomeBeefFactories’ attempts to talk down trade ‘not working’
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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Factories’ attempts to talk down trade ‘not working’

September 2022 Beef Prices 

“Beef farmers should strongly resist any attempts by factories to hold back on price and demand increases that reflect the reality of beef prices in our key export markets.”

That is the belief of IFA livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, who has said that market demand for beef and prices in Ireland’s key export markets show capacity for beef price increases.

He stated the attempts by factories to hold back prices by talking down the trade and offering lower quotes are “not working”.

He pointed to tight supplies and strong global demand for beef, which are “underpinning” the trade.

Beef prices across the EU and UK have increased, with the Prime Export Benchmark price rising by 17c/kg in the past fortnight, opening up a gap of 30c/kg with Ireland’s price.

“Beef prices must reflect the reality of the marketplace and move on to close the gap in price with our key markets,” he said.

He said winter finishers are in the process of making key decisions for the coming months.

“Factories must reflect the realities of the current market in stronger prices now and offer winter finishers minimum price guarantees for their cattle for this winter and next spring.”

“Input costs are now at levels that cattle finishers cannot take risks with. The sector does not have the capacity to absorb these,” he added.

“Meat factories and multi-national retailers are acutely aware of these costs and must provide a guarantee for farmers in the form of minimum price contracts to maintain our hard-earned, consistent year-round supply of cattle.”

Beef throughput

According to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s beef classification and price reporting division, 36,346 cattle were slaughtered in DAFM-approved beef plants last week (Aug 29th, 2022).

This included:

  • Young bulls: 1,462;
  • Bulls: 561;
  • Steers: 18,610;
  • Cows: 6,647;
  • Heifers: 9,046.

Cumulative beef kill:

  • Young bulls: 90,776;
  • Bulls: 18,587;
  • Steers: 431,048;
  • Cows: 232,409;
  • Heifers: 314,704.
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