ICSA calls for better factory prices for winter finishers

2nd February 2012

Newly elected Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) beef chairman, Edmond Phelan, has called on factories to halt the recent slide in prices as it is having an alienating effect on winter finishers.

Edmond Phelan: “Beef needs to be rising weekly during the winter finishing period but what we have seen is the exact opposite since the turn of the year. We have seen a week on week decrease with factories pulling prices. Prices have fallen back 20 – 30c for steers since January and this is simply unacceptable. This equates a loss of €50/€60 per head for the farmer. Factories are desperately looking for stock yet prices are being pulled. This smacks of somebody playing shenanigans. Beef finishers rely on a rising market during the winter period and the current trend cannot continue.

“In order to have a profitable farm, prices need to be rising at a penny a pound every week throughout the winter. Beef finishers are now looking at the possibility of holding off, putting the stock on grass until later in the summer until the prices return. If factories want to hold out on finishers, then two can play at that game,” Mr. Phelan said.