A scarcity of finished cattle has driven up beef prices by 20c/kg in the last week and prices are set to continue upwards by €200/head in the coming weeks.

Angry beef finishers at an IFA crisis meeting on Tuesday night vented their frustration at beef factories’ reluctance to close the €200/head price gap between Ireland and the UK.

This gap is costing Irish farmers €6m per week, according to IFA president Tim Cullinan.

However, the scarcity of cattle has begun to bite in recent days, forcing processors to add €70/head to the base price compared to last week.

Paul Nolan of Dawn Meats was optimistic of beef price hitting a base of €5.40/kg within weeks, based on current cattle supply and beef demand forecasts for early 2023.