In-spec cattle numbers to ‘tighten considerably’ in coming weeks

Meat factories have been criticised by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) for the level of price cuts on cow prices over the past week. However, conditions for in-spec cattle are strong, with numbers expected to “tighten considerably”, the organisation says.

Commenting, IFA Livestock Committee chairman Brendan Golden said:

“The cuts of up 20c/kg over the past week in quoted prices is not justified in the market place.

While cow prices have come under pressure in some markets, it is not of the level put forward by meat factories and must be rowed back.

Market conditions ‘strong’ for in-spec cattle

Golden said market conditions are strong for in-spec cattle as the supermarket trade, which has performed strongly for beef throughout the Covid-19 restrictions, builds stocks for the lucrative Christmas trade.

Numbers of in-spec cattle are expected to tighten considerably over the coming weeks, the IFA chairman noted.

The anticipated tighter supplies of cattle in the UK should drive positive market conditions for Irish beef in our main export market, Golden added.

Prices for steers are continuing at €3.60/kg to €3.65/kg with heifers making €3.65/kg to €3.70/kg.

“Factories are anxious to secure in-spec cattle and must close the gap with the UK prices to reflect the market conditions that exist.

“Prices in our main export market are strong and steady at the vat inclusive equivalent of €4.45/kg for R4L steers,” the chairman concluded.