ICSA beef chair Edmund Graham has said beef producers urgently need €6/kg to cover the skyrocketing costs they are facing. “Processors are continuing to adopt a stance of can pay more – won’t pay more despite prices falling well behind European averages. “Last week ICSA took a position that beef needed to be at the €6/kg mark to cover the escalating cost of production amidst spiralling input costs. This week we have seen prices equivalent to €5.90-€6/kg being paid in the marts by factory agents. If processors can pay that at the marts, then there is no excuse for failing to do the same at the factory gate,” he said.
“It is unconscionable that Irish beef should be over 10c back on our European counterparts. Bord Bia’s market tracker reveals that for last week the EU average stood at €4.53 while the average price here was €4.41. This is shocking when you consider how much our costs have increased and when there is evidence that factories can – and are – paying substantially more in the marts.”
ICSA has been collecting data from marts around the country over the past week. “What we have seen time and time again is stock in the 600+kg region making upwards of €1,800. We have seen sales of 625kg animals bought for €2,000 apiece, sales of 665kg stock for €2,040, 700kg animals going for €2,110 and a 725kg animal making over €2,170. Even at conservative kill-out percentages you are hitting the €6/kg mark.”
Mr Graham said, “That is what beef is worth to them, and what they are willing to stump up at the marts. These prices must transfer across to the factory gate and we as farmers need to keep demanding higher prices. The evidence is there that processors can give more; it is clear that they are choosing to walk all over beef farmers which is shameful, particularly now when our costs have risen so steeply.”