Factories have been called on to increase the base price of beef on the back of rising cattle prices in the main Irish export markets and higher demand for the Christmas trade.

The president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Joe Healy, said: “The facts are, during the month of October, factories pulled cattle prices by 3-5c/kg for prime cattle and 15c/kg for cows.

However, prime cattle prices in the UK have stabilised and when the strength of sterling is accounted for, prices have risen by 10-13c/kg.

The outgoing IFA president also outlined: “Cattle prices are also rising across some of the main EU markets, with young bull prices up 35c/kg in Italy, up 18c/kg in Spain and little or no change in Germany and France.”

Healy reiterated his calls for the “immediate publication” of the Bord Bia Beef Price Index.

He said: “The IFA pushed hard for this index at the beef talks to keep the factories honest. It was agreed the index would be published from September 16. We need it urgently.”

Concluding, Healy criticised some factories for the price pull on heifers over recent days.

He said: “ABP Group has led the charge in trying to pull the base price for heifers back down to the same level as steers.”