With grass cattle now gone, Christmas market demand in full swing and factories trying to buy cattle out of sheds, IFA National Livestock Chairperson, Angus Woods said farmers should be demanding a new minimum base price of €4.00/kg.
Based on the higher UK and EU market returns, a substantial beef price increase from the factories was justified said the farming leader. He said UK cattle prices are the equivalent of €4.40/kg and prices in our main EU market are up 30c/kg compared to this time last year.
The IFA Livestock Chairman said winter finishers need an immediate price increase up to €4.00/kg and cattle prices need to continue to rise into Christmas.
Teagasc figures show that winter finishers need a beef price in the range of €4.30 to 4.50/kg.
Mr Woods pointed out factories are very anxious for stock and are finding it extremely difficult to get numbers at the current low quoted prices.
The kill to date this year is up 75,000 head, carcase weights are down an average of 6kg, accounting for another 35,000 cattle and an additional 40,000 weanlings have been shipped to Turkey in the last year. All of this points to finished cattle numbers being a lot tighter than previously anticipated.