Factories continue to dictate pace as prices slip further

6th February 2012

Livestock Price Coordinator for the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), John Cleary, has said that factories are dictating prices being paid to farmers for stock by limiting the number of slaughter days and by making farmers book in cattle in advance. Mr. Cleary said that the top end quotes here are particularly difficult to achieve unless a farmer is selling a significant amount of stock.

For a good mix of steers, the base price being quoted is €3.90 – 4.00/kg, a further decrease of 5c from last week. Factories are quoting €4- €4.10/kg for heifers, a 5-10c tumble from last week. For a mix of U and R grade bulls, the base price is also €4.00 – €4.05/kg, a fall of 10c. Base price quotes for cows stand at €3.20-€3.65/kg, no change from week.

Commenting on this week’s trade, Mr. Cleary said: “Factories have once again taken the initiative to pull prices this week with steers, heifers and bulls all suffering falls this week. Cows are the only ones to have performed solidly this week. We have now seen week on week falls which is hard to bear for farmers. Factories have always began ‘appointment only’ killings now. It’s also hard to get the top end quotes and are only available for larger farmers. Farmers must also be aware that while nothing is certain, selling in a falling market only helps the factories and prices are expected to move upwards the less stock factories receive,” Mr. Cleary said.