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Cattle price pressure is 'opportunistic'
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Cattle price pressure is 'opportunistic'

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Factories are trying to apply even more pressure on prices, a move that is being criticised as opportunistic by the IFA.
Factories are trying to apply even more pressure on prices, a move that is being criticised as opportunistic by the IFA.

Beef quotes on Friday show factories trying to implement further reductions on steer and heifer base prices.

Some factories are trying to reduce the base price for steers to €3.95/kg and for heifers to €4.05/kg, for cattle changing hands next week. This follows a 5c/kg reduction earlier in the week, with steers reducing from €4.05/kg to €4.00/kg, and heifers from €4.15/kg to €4.10/kg.

The price pressure has been criticised by IFA livestock chair Angus Woods, who described the move by factories as “opportunistic”.

“Feeders should strongly resist any price pressure from the factories,” he advised. “There is no beef in store and market demand remains strong.”

Woods is calling for Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed to react.

“There is no market basis or justification for any reduction in cattle prices,” he added. “

In the last week, Bord Bia has highlighted the very strong beef market returns for factories in 2017 and the extremely strong returns on offal and hide values.

“Minister Creed needs to call an immediate beef forum and make it abundantly clear to the factories that they must return a fair and viable price to farmers.”

He also pointed to steady prices in our main export markets as providing an opportunity for higher prices to be returned to Irish farmers.

“Over the autumn, UK beef prices have remained very strong and EU prices have strengthen significantly, up 30c to 40c/kg on previous year levels,” Woods said.

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