‘Capacity there for stronger beef prices’ – Golden

IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said the stagnant beef prices are not reflecting the costs on farms producing cattle from sheds.

Mr Golden said the most expensive cattle are those produced by winter finishers. Prices have moved up just 24c/kg since the beginning of the year.

“This is against a background of steady and consistent beef price increases in our key market – the UK – where prices have increased by over 50c/kg over the same period,” he said.

Demand for beef is strong in the UK market, with spend up 9 per cent on beef in the past three months and volumes down only marginally by 1.7 per cent.

The IFA Livestock Chairman said it is anticipated this demand will increase over the coming weeks. With supplies of finished cattle tightening, price increases must be on the table.

Meanwhile, Bord Bia has predicted supplies to be back this year by 50,000 to 60,000 cattle, with all of this reduction due in the first six months of the year. Up to the end of April, supplies only reduced by 30,000, which points to a significant tightening in numbers of finished cattle for the next two to three months.

“This positive supply/demand balance in the coming weeks and months must return higher beef prices to farmers,” Mr Golden concluded