The Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee has said that his organisation’s reading of the data points toward what Des Morrison described as a “decent” rise in beef price as the month develops.
Mr. Morrison said that the current differential between UK prices and Irish prices for an R3 steer amounted to 33.4c/kg, a figure he described as “astonishing” and evidence that Irish prices were being “actively managed downwards”
“Throughput was down 4,829 head in the last two weeks of April and is actually down 1,441 to the end of April for the same period last year.”
“Even with the feedlots, the tightening in numbers is going to make a price rise inevitable and our opinion is that it might be a decent price rise.”
30c/kg behind this year
The ICMSA Livestock Chairperson pointed out that last year prices rose steadily from the beginning of February and by the end of April had reached €3.99/kg for an R3 steer.
He said that prices seem to have “plateaued” around €3.60/kg, with approximately €3.69/kg being forked out by factories at present.
“That’s still a massive 30c/kg behind this time last year and it’s resulting in losses to the farmers of around €120/head on an average steer.”
Drawing attention to the typical price movement and tightening of numbers, he believes that pressure is building on factories to “start realising the extent of the challenges facing the farmers"
“A price rise is ‘in the system’ and may develop quite quickly as this month goes forward.”
"I’d be telling farmers to ‘bargain hard’”, concluded Mr. Morrison.