A more than 40c/kg beef price drop move made by Irish processors over recent weeks is “suspicious” given prices in the UK and on the continent are either stable or rising, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Supplier Association (ICMSA).

The ICMSA livestock chair Des Morrison asked why Irish beef prices were dropping and why beef prices here appear to be disconnected from the market reality abroad and suggested that prices appear to be "deliberately disconnected" from farmer prices elsewhere.

“The average reported Irish R3 steer price as of the 6 of August 2022 was €4.81/kg excluding VAT, which was down 42c/kg from the 25 June six weeks previously,” claimed Morrison.

“Over the same period, the EU price for young bulls increased 7c/kg from €4.91/kg to €4.98/kg excluding VAT, whilst the UK steer price remained at €5.22/kg ex VAT,” he said.

The EU equivalent

The livestock chair said that the current situation facing beef farmers is made more incomprehensible when Irish beef prices sat 38c/kg ahead of the average over the same period of last year.

“Why is Ireland yet again the exception where our prices fall? Every market we sell into or bear any comparison to has either stable or rising prices, but our factories have cut the price they pay us,” asked Morrieson.

“Every enquiry and review into our beef sector just comes up against this mystery where our beef prices seem to be deliberately disconnected from everyone else’s and we want to know why?”