The IFA has urged farmers to “shop around and sell hard” as beef factories continue to compete for supplies.
According to IFA livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, plants have increased quotes by a further 5c/kg this week.
2022 beef prices
He reported that base prices for steers are ranging from €4.45-€4.55/kg, while heifers are varying from €4.50-€4.60/kg.
He said there are “higher” deals available for larger lots of in-spec cattle, in particular.
Cow prices have also increased, which, he stated, reflects the “strong” demand for manufacturing beef.
P grades are starting at €3.70/kg with what he described as “good quality beef-bred” cows making up to €4.20/kg.
On the other hand, young bulls (R/U grades) are varying from €4.40-€4.60/kg.
Input costs and markets
The IFA livestock chairman said factories must maintain the upward trajectory of beef prices in 2022 to offset the “enormous” cost increases (Teagasc estimates hikes of up to 65c/kg on some farms) that beef farmers are facing this year.
“Beef prices in our main export markets, the UK and EU, are strong,” he said.
He said increased activity in the UK foodservice sector is driving demand for processed beef, in particular.
Golden added that with reduced production forecasted for the EU, it creates “positive” market conditions for Irish beef.
NI’s 2022 beef kill expected to be up by 9,000 head
Meanwhile, according to the LMC, Northern Ireland’s prime cattle kill is projected to come in at 355,982 head – up from 344,373 cattle in 2021.
Cow slaughterings are forecast to total 105,550 head in 2022, up from last year’s figure of 104,694.
The throughput of other cattle, which includes calves and bulls, is projected to total 11,000 head this year. This is a drop from the 11,420 figure for 2021.
It is the LMC’s belief that total cattle throughput for 2022 is projected to reach 472,532 head: the figure for 2021 was 463,616.