IFA National Livestock Chairman Michael Doran said to break the factory cartel on cattle prices, winter feeders should realise the strength of their bargaining position and stop selling cattle at current quoted prices. Feeders can insist on a minimum base price of €3.50/kg for next week, the same price that was available three weeks ago. Michael Doran said the factories are controlling numbers to control prices. He said the only way to break this cartel is for feeders to put an immediate handbrake on supplies and insist on a minimum based price for next week. The IFA livestock leader said all the facts favoured the feeders and prices can rise significantly over the coming weeks. Cattle supplies in Ireland and the UK are extremely tight. At best factories have one to two days’ kill ahead of them. Market prices in the UK, our main market are up 20c/Kg over the last two weeks and continue to rise. Sterling has strengthened from 80.8p to 78p against the Euro in the last two weeks. There are no supplies of South American beef imports available on the market. The IFA man said costs have rocketed this year, up 50c to 70c/Kg after feeding cattle. For a six-month winter, feeders are not going to allow the factories control prices at this critical stage.