Farmers urged to sell hard as beef prices strengthen

Cattle prices have strengthened again this week as supplies continue to tighten, with farmers urged to sell hard to maximise returns, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

The farm organisation highlighted today (Thursday, December 3) that last week’s kill dropped by a further 373 head to 36,464, with steers dropping by over 2,000 head on the week.

Heifer and cow numbers were stronger, the IFA notes.

Commenting, IFA Livestock Committee chairman Brendan Golden said: “The continual tightening of supplies of in-spec cattle and strong market conditions are driving the trade as factories fill orders.

Factories are paying €3.70 to €3.75/kg for bullocks, €3.75 to €3.80/kg for heifers with some deals higher, including flat prices for selective lots.

Continuing, Golden said the gap in the ‘Prime Export Benchmark’ price has only closed by 2c/kg with the Irish price currently 8c/kg below; this clearly shows further capacity in the market place for stronger prices, he added.

The chairman said factories must reflect the market realities and farmers should sell hard to maximise returns in the current strong market conditions.

Cow prices have also increased this week and are ranging from €2.90 to €3.40/kg depending on grade, the livestock committee chairman concluded.