IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman Michael Doran said cattle finishers cannot afford to sell cattle and should not part with stock at the low base prices of €3.30/kg to €3.36/kg.
Finishers must insist on a minimum base price of €3.42/kg for steers and €3.50/kg for heifers and bulls. He said top base prices of €3.50/kg for steers and €3.60/kg have been paid this week.
Mr Doran said there is a major increase in market demand for Easter and UK prices has forged ahead to the equivalent of €3.60/kg. He said “Feeders must make it clear to the factories that they will not sell at a loss and are demanding the price rises that have already occurred in the market place. Factories cannot be allowed hold back on market price increases any longer”.
The IFA livestock leader said supplies have tightened considerably and factories and agents are chasing cattle. He said base prices of up to €3.50/kg for steers and €3.60/kg for heifers have been paid by some plants to get stock.
On the market side demand has picked up considerably and prices have jumped. UK prices have moved up to £3.00/kg with some plants paying £3.05/kg, equivalent to €3.66/kg. On the Continent R3 males are making €3.88/kg in Italy, €3.83/kg in Germany, €3.57/kg in Spain and €3.52/kg in France.
Mr Doran said factories are now actively killing for Easter and are worried about getting adequate supplies. With two bank holidays and the Royal Wedding all within a week, UK retail demand will be exceptionally strong and prices are expected to continue to increase. Against this background, Mr Doran said now is the time for finishers to demand a substantial price increase in order to cover the 32c/kg increase in their costs this year.