Beef industry ‘on its knees’ after 30% price slump since July

The Irish beef industry is on its knees with cow prices down by 33% since July 2018, the Fianna Fail spokesperson on food and horticulture has warned.

Jackie Cahill made the comments after he had raised the matter with an Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, this week during Dail proceedings.

Continuing, Cahill said: “Farmer returns are simply no longer sustainable and farmers are unable to keep their businesses viable.

It’s getting worse not better, and it seems to me that the Government is turning a blind eye to their plight.

Cahill outlined that an Taoiseach and the Government have explained that the Beef Forum is currently looking into the issue, but said: “Farmers need action.

“Traditionally, beef prices rise in the run up to Christmas but this year they are actually falling. Beef farmers are being put to the pin of their collars and are desperately worried about their futures.

“40,000 head of beef cattle are being slaughtered every week as there are no live exports at present.

“This is a serious challenge that requires a responsive Government and Department of Agriculture. Beef farmers need action and support,” concluded Cahill.

Supplies breaching 1.63 million

To date, over 1.63 million cattle have been slaughtered in Ireland, official data shows. Figures taken from the Department of Agriculture’s beef kill database indicate that some 1,635,000 cattle were processed up to the week ending November 25.

When we compare this to the corresponding period in 2017, that’s an increase of 56,099 head or 3.56%.

In terms of throughput, the combined steer and heifer kill accounted for over 64% of all of the cattle slaughtered in Ireland between January 1 and November 28, 2018.