Tipperary beef: farm groups call for price rises in 2020
ICSA beef chairman Edmund Graham is urging farmers to bargain hard for their cattle and not to accept €3.60 for steers and heifers.
“Prices are still languishing way behind where they should be. We had every expectation that prices would pick up significantly in the new year, but factories are continuing to torture beef farmers with the slow pace of progress. Factories are looking for cattle so the advice is to farmers is to get tough on what they will accept,” he said.
“It beggars belief why the meat industry here is so hell bent on dragging out any meaningful price increases and treating beef farmers with utter contempt, but that it what they are doing," said Mr Graham.
He said that farmers had been haemorrhaging money and for that to stop they needed to see a more rapid rate of price increases and for prices to move above €4/kg in the short term.
"With supplies not as plentiful as factories would have hoped for in January, the scope is there to bargain hard. 30 months should also not be an issue as most cattle are either well under at present or have gone passed it already. There is absolutely no justification for Irish beef prices remaining in the doldrums at a time when markets all over the globe are powering ahead, helped by demand from China for animal protein," he said.
Meanwhile, IFA national livestock chairman Angus Woods said cattle prices needed to rise substantially in 2020.
“Based on prices in our main export market in the UK, which are the equivalent of €4.20/kg, Irish prices have major potential to rise," he said.
Analysing the kill for 2019, Mr Woods said the total kill reached 1,737,285 head, down 61,009 on 2018 levels.
He said the major changes were a 41,000 head reduction in the steer kill and a 50,000 head drop in the cull cow numbers. Heifers increased by 16,000 and young bulls by only 5,000 head.
The IFA national livestock committee met in Portlaoise this Tuesday at which a new chairman was elected.