Farmers urged to ‘sell hard’ during Christmas demand

Christmas is just around the corner, and with that will come an increased demand for beef from the UK retail sector.

According to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), factories are actively seeking in-spec cattle for the lucrative supermarket trade in the UK, with prices rising by 5c/kg to 10c/kg this week.

Brendan Golden, the IFA’s national livestock chairperson, said that the supermarket trade had “performed very well throughout the year for beef, and demand is increasing in the lead-in to Christmas.

Supplies of in-spec cattle in particular are predicted to tighten considerably over the coming weeks, and it is very evident in the factories attempts to secure cattle to meet market demand.

Golden noted that cattle prices in the UK “continues to rise and with domestic supplies also projected to tighten, market conditions justify better returns from factories”.

“The UK price for R4L steers jumped 5c/kg to the VAT inclusive equivalent €4.57/kg in the past week,” he noted.

He said factories “must start reflecting the true value of our most important market to farmers”.

Farmers should dig in and sell hard.

“Deals well above quoted prices or flat deals for plainer Angus and Hereford cattle of up to €3.95/kg at this stage are available,” the IFA livestock chair concluded.

Dates announced for election debates

In other IFA-related news, the association has announced the dates for online debates between the two candidates vying to replace Tom Short as the association’s South Leinster chairperson.

IFA national treasurer and returning officer Martin Stapleton said: “We will have online debates to give county officers and branch delegates in six county executives of South Leinster the opportunity to hear from the two candidates.”

The two candidates are: Francie Gorman from the Ballinakill branch (nominated by Laois IFA); and current Wexford county chairperson James Kehoe, from the Monageer branch.