Beef price rises of 10c/kg over the past week must continue, the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) livestock chair Declan Hanrahan has said.

He said demand for beef in Ireland's key UK and EU markets is strong with supplies in these markets reducing for the year, creating potential for strong and sustained growth in beef prices here.

There was a 4% drop in EU beef production in 2023, with a further reduction of 1% projected for this year.

UK beef supplies are predicted to tighten for the second half of the year particularly and into 2025, as figures show the numbers of cattle under 12 months of age to be down 3% year on year.


This drop in figures provides “real opportunity for Bord Bia and meat factories to increase volumes and returns for Irish beef from these high value markets which must be returned to farmers”, he said.

Declan Hanrahan said the rollout of the PGI for Irish Grass Fed Beef on the Italian market must add further value to our beef exports.

“Market conditions and supplies of beef cattle are pointing prices in only one direction and this upward momentum must continue in prices paid to farmers," he said.

Beef is in high demand and factories are leaving no cattle behind as they try to fill orders from key customers,with prices for next week up a further 5c/kg to 10c/kg, the IFA said.

"Steer base prices are €5.15 to €5.25/kg. Heifers are making from €5.20 to €5.30/kg, young bulls grading R and U are ranging from €5.30 to €5.50/kg. Demand for cull cows continues to strengthen with P grades in most factories starting at €4.20 to €4.30/kg and moving all the way up to €4.90/kg for good-quality young continental cows in specialist factories," the IFA said.


He said supplies of beef cattle here are conservatively predicted to be back 30,000 to 40,000 head for the year by Bord Bia, with this figure likely to increase due to the very positive start to the live export trade for stores and finished cattle to date this year.

Live exports are up over 55% for stores and finished cattle alone for the first 10 weeks of the year, a pattern that is expected to continue. To date, 7,653 cattle have been shipped to markets outside the EU while the trade with the UK has also gotten off to a firm start with just over 8,000 cattle making the journey to Northern Ireland and a further 1,000 animals exported to Britain.

Declan Hanrahan said this vital trade will provide much needed competition to factories for beef cattle for the year ahead.

'Sell hard'

He reiterated that farmers should sell hard to ensure the realities of the competitive market conditions are reflected in beef price and the upward momentum continues.