The benefits of a “mini boom” in Irish beef exports to the UK and other markets are “unconvincing” according to the Irish Creamery and Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA) livestock chair, Des Morrison.

He said the benefits of the recent hike in demand for beef are not finding their way back in full to the pockets of the primary producers.

“There’s a massive demand for at least the last four weeks for prime ‘in-spec’ animals and heavy well-fleshed cows of all grades,” he said.

“It’s translating back to about a 12% jump in farmer prices on last year, but no-one is going to tell me that our processors are not well ahead of that percentage rise in terms of what they are getting – and getting very easily – from their customers.”

He said primary producers are being “spun a line” and are being lulled into feeling good about the price increase instead of looking harder at the much larger increases the beef processors are taking for themselves.

“Farmers won’t need reminding that this year’s prices are only decent by comparison to the last five years which were dreadful.

“And even at that, the prices we’re getting are being burned through by the input costs surge that’s eating through the better prices farmers are receiving this year.

“Farmers are going to have to see a serious jump in the price of beef exports because we are very tired of hearing about ‘positive’ prices and market outlooks that are very noticeably more positive for other links in the supply chain than they are for the farmers producing the actual beef,” he said.