Beef prices increase despite the attempts of factories, sheep prices jump

16th January, 2012

Despite the attempts of factories to shave up to 5c off quotes, beef prices have again been strong in the past week due a shortage of stock according to the Livestock Price Coordinator for the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA). John Cleary also said that farmers should now be prepared for tougher negotiations from factories but those willing to do so will get the best prices.

For a good mix of steers, the base price being quoted is €4.10 – 4.15/kg, a further increase of 10c from last week. Factories are quoting €4.20- €4.30/kg for heifers, a slight increase on last week For a mix of U and R grade bulls, the base price is also €4.20/kg, roughly the same quotes from last week  Base price quotes for cows stand at €3.35-€3.65/kg. This is a rise of nearly 20c, a significant rise for cows for this time of the year.

Commenting on this week’s trade, Mr. Cleary said: “There had been significant talk over this past week that factories had been doing all they could to pull prices by as much as 5c this week but this failed to materialise due a shortage of stock once again coming into the factory the floor. The return of the marts in the past couple of weeks has resulted in a surge in prices being paid at some ringsides by factories for stock but they are still desperately trying to locate stock and this looks set to be the case for the foreseeable. Farmers with quality stock should be prepared to bargain hard with factories for prices if the rumours of price pulling continues.”

Scarcity was the explanation given for a jump in prices last week for sheep but further shortages has resulted in another 10c increase. Prices for lambs up to 23.5kg are €5.30/kg. Ewes are being quoted €3.20/kg.