IFA National Livestock Chairman, Brendan Golden, said beef prices have strengthened recently but supplies are predicted to remain tight and that sterling fluctuation must be addressed in the Brexit Adjustment Reserve.
“Steers are making €3.75 to €3.80/kg, with heifers between €3.80 and €3.85/kg in most factories. There are deals above these levels available for larger lots and Angus cattle.
“Market demands are strong, driven by the high volumes of beef sales in supermarkets but supplies are predicted to remain tight,” he said.
Mr. Golden added that the price of cows had also strengthened this week, ranging from €3 per kilogram to €3.40.
“Young bull prices have also risen in the past week and are ranging in general from €3.60 to €3.80/kg for O/R and U grades.
“While there is uncertainty around some logistical issues and access to the UK market, demand is strong and beef prices must push on and reflect market conditions.
“Market returns to beef farmers remain a long way off the breakeven price of €4.50/kg and this is not sustainable,” he said.
He said Brexit has impacted directly on beef farmers since the vote was taken in 2016, primarily through the sterling fluctuation, and this must be addressed in the €1.05 billion Brexit Adjustment Reserve announced for Ireland.
“Beef farmers must be first in line for strong and meaningful supports, without pre-conditions,” he concluded.