‘Farmers can’t continue to feed cattle at current prices’

There is “no excuse” for factories to keep prices at the current low levels, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

Commenting today, Thursday, June 18, ICSA beef chairman Edmund Graham said:

“The low take-up of Aids to Private Storage (APS) illustrates that factories are needlessly keeping prices at an unsustainably low levels.

Demand is clearly exceeding supply and factories have no business keeping downward pressure on prices.

Latest European-wide figures on APS indicate that Irish processors have placed just 20t of beef, or 1.32% of the EU total, into storage, the chairman noted.

“Meanwhile, soaring supermarket demand in the UK has seen beef prices there continue to rally.

“So much so that prices paid to UK farmers have increased by £0.40/kg over the last number of weeks and are now at their highest point for more than 12 months,” Graham said.

By June 10, British farmers were getting £3.63/kg which breaks the €4.00/kg mark when converted. Processors here have just been far too slow in getting back to realistic pricing levels and they’re just not going to get away with it much longer.

“Processors are misguided if they believe that farmers will continue to finish beef at today’s prices.

“Cattle cannot be fed at current prices and farmers will just stop doing it.

“If the demand is there, factories are going to have to get real and pay a price that at least covers the cost of feeding the animals they need to stay in business,” Graham concluded.