Meat processors currently have “no option but to increase beef prices paid to farmers, given the scarcity of supplies”, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).

Edmund Graham, the association’s beef chairperson, commented today (Wednesday, September 15) that “despite the processors doing their utmost to keep a lid on the prices, they’ve had to bite the bullet”.

According to Graham, increased prices are “available across the board this week”.

“Supplies are far from plentiful at the minute, which is unusual for this time of year.”

He said that processors are looking for cattle, giving farmers the opportunity to seek higher prices.

“Factories are anxious for stock so I would encourage farmers to demand that extra bit,” he remarked.

The ICSA beef chairperson went on to say: “At times like this it’s important for farmers to stand their ground and sell strong.

“We know prices have been hitting the €4.25/kg, €4.30/kg and even the €4.35/kg mark for those willing to push hard for it.”

He added that there was demand for non-quality assured animals on the mart front.

“It is also worth noting that there is increased activity for finished cattle in the marts, which includes a demand for non-quality assured animals.

“It all adds up to an opportunity to keep the momentum going for better prices, but we’ve got to keep the pressure up,” Graham concluded.

Beef trade

Factory beef quotes have slowly begun to move upwards this week with at least one processor moving quotes forward by 5c/kg across all categories.

Heifer price remains 5c/kg in front of steer quotes across most, if not all processors, with some farmers managing to secure heifer price for steers where the majority of the cattle in the deal are suitable, in-spec heifers, with bullocks matching the same criteria.

To catch up on the latest in the beef trade, click here.