Despite beef factories offering lower quotes to some farmers, plants are still paying base prices of €4.75/kg-€4.85/kg for steers and heifers.
That is according to IFA livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, who reported that higher prices are available for larger and specialist lots.
He outlined that young bulls are making €4.70-€5.00/kg, while the cow trade “remains firm” with factories placing between €4.40-€4.90/kg on the table.
Golden said market conditions for beef in Ireland’s “key” export markets are favourable and justify a stronger beef price.
He said, “the narrative over the past few weeks from factories is not accurately reflecting the realities of the marketplace”.
“There is no justification for weakening in beef price and attempts by factories to do so is clearly opportunistic when the facts of our key markets are appraised.”
“Factories must return the full value of the marketplace in beef prices. There is no justification for a gap of over 20c/kg with our main markets,” he added.
He pointed to the supply-demand balance for beef, which he described as “good and improving”.
Slightly weaker sterling
Supplies to Britain have fallen by over 6,819 in the past week, at a time when prices have increased by a further 1.4p/kg.
“This strengthens the opportunity for factories to increase prices in this important market and offset the impact of a slightly weaker sterling, which at this point is also showing signs of strengthening,” he said.
In the EU, young bull prices have been “strong and steady” and are currently running 24c/kg above Ireland’s prices on the Prime Export Benchmark tracker.
He said projections from Bord Bia are for an increase in demand for forward store and finished cattle for live export to NI in the last quarter of the year, which will “add competition to trade” in the coming weeks and months.
Read exclusive commentary that Bord Bia provided to That’s Farming in this news article.