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15% increase in beef sales but finishers still losing money

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IFA national livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, has asked or an increase in beef prices following the increase in retail beef sales across the UK.

Despite the price paid to farmer increasing over the last two weeks, Golden warned that finishers are still trading at a loss.

Beef market

He revealed that Kantar figures for the Irish market to April 19th have shown an increase in volume of beef sales by 14.9% in comparison to the same stage of 2019. Minced beef sales have increased by 26.1% and steak sales have increased by 15.2% during this period. Golden stated that in terms of value, beef sales are up 15.2%.

Beef sales have also seen an increase across the UK, according to the IFA representative. Our main export market has seen an increase in volume of 16.2% and spend by 15.3%.

Cattle prices

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board in the UK have also reported that cattle prices have risen over the last number of weeks.

They reported: “In the week ended May 2nd, prime cattle prices up by 1.5p/kg. Steer prices led the way with prices overall increasing by 1.6p, to 324.4p/kg, carcases meeting the R3 and R4L specs rose in price by 2.4p and 1.8p respectively. Heifer prices posted a more modest gain of 1.0p, to average 324.0p/kg overall.”

“R3 steers were up 2.4p/kg to £3.30/kg, equivalent to €3.95/kg incl vat at 5.4%. O4L cows were up 8p/kg to £2.39/kg equivalent to €2.86/kg.”

“Young bulls rose in price by over 3p overall, to 314.5p/kg. Cow prices too gained a substantial 5.7p to 216.0p/kg. Those meeting the –O4L spec gained more than 8p to average nearly 238.9p/kg, likely underpinned by the continued strength in demand for minced beef at retail.”

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