Farmers have expressed disbelief that the EU Commission is attempting to proceed with the Mercosur deal with South American countries, IFA livestock chair Brendan Golden has said.
“It is unbelievable that, following Brexit and the added environmental controls the EU are imposing on Irish farmers through the CAP, that they are looking at allowing more beef into the EU market,” Golden said.
“We will be meeting Tánaiste and Minister for Trade Leo Varadkar shortly to put the strongest message across that the Irish Government must oppose the deal.”
The IFA has said market conditions are strong for beef and are expected to improve. Supplies of cattle are tight and factories have been called on to return the full value of the market place in increased beef prices.
Predictions for the year are of tight supplies of finished cattle in Ireland, the UK and the EU
Easter demand and the returning food service sector in the UK and throughout the EU as vaccines are rolled out is hoped will further demand for beef.
Golden said: “Predictions for the year are of tight supplies of finished cattle in Ireland, the UK and the EU, creating favourable market conditions for Irish beef which must be reflected in prices.
“Steers are making €3.80/kg, heifers €3.85/kg with higher deals for larger and specialist lots. The cow trade also strengthened this week, ranging from €3.00/kg to €3.50/kg with some higher prices paid. Young bulls are making €3.65/kg to €3.95/kg depending on grade.”
Prices in marts for finished and forward store cattle and cows are strong and providing a real competitive alternative for some farmers.