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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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Beef farmers urged to ‘sell’ hard as factories ‘struggle’ to secure supplies  

Read about this week’s beef prices. 

Beef factories have started to move prices upwards as they “struggle” to secure supplies.

That is according to IFA livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, who reported that “most” farmers are now securing €4.20/kg for steers. He said that some plants are offering €4.30/kg for “specialist” lots.

This week’s beef prices

In a statement on Monday, November 15th, 2021, he said:

“Most heifers are now moving at €4.25/kg, with up to €4.35/kg offered at the top end. Cull cows have steadied and are ranging from €3.50/kg to €4.00/kg depending on grade.”

Golden outlined that prices in the UK have “strengthened” again, and supplies are running 4% below 2020 levels. In turn, he added that this is creating a “strong” demand for Irish beef for the lucrative Christmas trade.

However, he pointed out that Ireland’s beef prices are lagging 9c/kg behind the latest Prime Export Benchmark price and “must push on”.

“Cattle supplies are predicted to be extremely tight up to year-end. Combined with the reduced volumes of beef in the UK and the low levels of South American imports in the EU market, this creates a very positive market environment for Irish beef, which must be returned to farmers in strong price increases,” he said.

Concluding, he advised farmers to “dig in” and “sell hard”. “Factories need cattle to fill the lucrative Christmas orders and must return the full value of the current strong market conditions.”

Lamb prices:

According to IFA sheep committee chairman, Sean Dennehy, factories have pushed lamb prices up 40c/kg in the last week.

He reported that at this stage, plants are offering €7.40/kg, with deals on weights to 22.5/kgs and, in some cases, 23kgs. Furthermore, Dennehy said factories are also offering transport to secure some lambs.

Dennehy said higher deals are available for groups and larger lots. “The trade will continue to strengthen as supplies fall well short of market demand.”

He added that some plants are offering bonuses of 20c/kg for light lambs up to 15/kgs, “in an attempt to increase the throughput of lambs”.

“It’s a situation that is replicated in NI and GB with supplies well below last year’s levels and prices increasing strongly over the past week.”

Read the full update.

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