Irish farmers have suffered a 50c/kg ‘negative turnaround’ in prices for R3 animals in the year up to the beginning of May.
That is the claim that the chairperson of ICMSA’s livestock committee, Des Morrison, has made in recent days.
He said that at the end of April 2021, prime Irish R3s were fetching 27c/kg above the European average.
Now, he explained, just over a year later, Irish animals are, what he claimed to be, 24c/kg below EU prices.
Morrison said: “The negative turnaround amounted to approximately 50c/kg and certainly warranted some kind of explanation”.
“It is a matter of record that the average prices recorded for R3 prime male cattle in the EU as of April 30th was €5.14/kg ex VAT.”
“The Irish price for the same class animal over the same period was €4.90, ex VAT. Even that current gap is mysterious; it certainly does not cost 24c/kg to export into the beef market.”
“In other EU countries, such as Germany, the average price paid for R3 steer as of April 30th was €5.64 per kg – another 50c/kg above the price we are getting here.”
“What’s going on? Why cannot Irish producers get even the EU average?” Morrison concluded.
According to the Livestock and Meat Commission, beef prices continued to move upwards across plants in Northern Ireland last week.
It reported that quotes for cull cows, young bulls, bullocks, and heifers improved on the previous week.
Base quotes for U-3 grade prime cattle varied from 392- 424p/kg, with most quoting 420-424p/kg for heifers and steers. The LMC anticipates a 2p/kg rise in prime cattle quotes from Monday (May 9th, 2022).
Meanwhile, prices for good quality O+3 grade cows ranged from 280-352p/kg. The commission also expects a 4p/kg price increase this week.
Read the full update.