Cattle prices are continuing to rise, but much too slowly for finishers, who need a “substantial” price lift at this stage, according to IFA national livestock chairman, Brendan Golden.
He said supplies are much tighter and farmers need to “dig in very hard”, demanding more on price. “Farmers should reject the quoted prices and ask for at least 10c/kg more.”
“Factory procurement managers are cold calling feeders trying to pin down supplies and cut deals.”
“It’s well known that many of the big processors don’t have as many cattle in feedlots as usual. They are trying to secure stock for the weeks ahead.”
He said that with 55,000 fewer cattle in the system, based on AIMS data, supplies should get much tighter over the coming weeks.
He pointed out that base price for steers and heifers is continuing to creep upwards with steers making €3.60-3.65/kg and some top prices of €3.70/kg paid.
Factories are quoting €3.65/kg for heifers with €3.70/kg becoming more common.
Golden outlined that some flat price deals of €3.70/kg has been negotiated for Friesian steers.
Young bulls have also lifted a little with O grades making €3.40/kg, R grades €3.50/kg and up to €3.65/kg for U grades.
Cow price is ranging from €2.90/kg to €3.45/kg for top-grade culls.
He stressed that prices in our main export market in the UK continuing to rise with R3 grade steers up another 1p/kg for the week ending Jan 25th to £3.40/kg, which is equivalent to €4.24/kg (incl VAT).
He said that UK price is 42c/kg ahead of the Irish price.
The IFA Livestock leader said the average R3 price paid by Irish factories for w/e Jan 25th varied from €3.99/kg in Foyle Meats in Donegal to less than €3.75/kg in a number of plants.
“There is a variation of up to 29c/kg between the top and the bottom, clearly showing that farmers should shop around and that deals are being done way above the quoted base prices.” Golden concluded.