It is inexplicable how beef prices ae not well above €4/kg at this stage given that all the supply and demand metrics are extremely favourable in 2021, ICSA beef chair Edmund Graham has said.

“The fact that Irish beef price has been essentially static for months at a time when prices elsewhere are hardening, along with favourable strengthening of sterling, suggests there is an orchestrated effort being made by factories here to keep a lid on prices," Graham said.

“I am challenging meat processors to explain what they are at?

"Latest figures show an increase in spend on retail sales of beef in Britain of some 15.8% compared to the same period twelve months ago.”

Import figures

The Bord Bia beef price tracker shows Irish beef price has slipped 13c/kg behind the prime export benchmark tracker.

“The kill numbers are 10.5% lower year-on-year in Ireland, but this is not being made up by international imports into the EU. In fact, imports from outside the EU fell by 10% in 2020 and this fall has not been reversed so far in 2021,” Graham continued.

“Recent news of a deal on exports of beef, including over 30-month beef, is a further reason why price should be on an upward curve in the medium-term. Beef factories cannot evade market realities when there are positives.”

The ICSA has described the reopening of the Chinese market as the last piece of the jigsaw in creating a price rise for beef.