UK demand for Irish beef drives up factory prices

Rising UK demand for beef and a tightening supply of cattle will continue to drive up meat factory prices, says IFA livestock chairman Angus Woods. Cattle trade has been solid this week, with factories paying a base price of €3.85 for steers and €3.95 for heifers.

Cattle prices rose by 3p/kg in the past week.

UK prices rose 10p/kg in the past three weeks, and are up 35p/kg since the start of May, according to UK Department of Agriculture figures. Mr Woods says factories are finding it hard to get adequate cattle numbers, as the good weather is keeping busy farmers away from marts. He said some factories paid €3.90 and €4.00/kg to get stock this week.

He also urged the Department of Agriculture to boost its efforts to gain access for live cattle exports to Turkey.

He said the Government needs to commit extra manpower and funds towards securing greater market access for beef and live cattle.

“It is essential that more resources are provided to assist the live export trade and no effort can be spared to get the vitally important trade to Turkey moving as soon as possible.

“The IFA has made it very clear to Mr Creed that a strong live export trade this autumn is essential for competition and to put a strong floor under weanling prices,” said Mr Woods.

Meanwhile, the IFA has committed to continue to work with the Department of Agriculture, the processors, Teagasc and farmers to highlight the importance of the Clean Livestock Policy, and to ensure farmers are treated fairly.

The IFA met department officials to review the policy, after figures which found problems relating to a small number of feedlot cattle.

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