ICSA has said competition within the live export trade of heavier cattle to Turkey is necessary.
The organisation’s beef vice chairman Edmond Phelan said that heavy bulls over 550kg were being shipped to Turkey next week and would counteract factory efforts to drive down beef prices.
“At prices of up to €2.20/kg liveweight, this trade will mean factory prices for bulls are not competitive and farmers should look very carefully at their options in terms of feeding these kind of cattle,” he added.
“While a lot of talk has been about the lighter weanlings, this is potentially a much more beneficial development in terms of getting cattle out of the country and getting some real competition into the beef trade in the immediate future.”
He went on to say that ICSA welcomed the efforts of live shippers, which he added, proved once again that the only hope for the beef sector in Ireland was competition between live exports and factories.
“It also shows,” said Mr Phelan, “that efforts to open beef markets in China, America and elsewhere, although worthwhile in the long term, are not delivering real and instant benefits to farmers.
“ICSA wants to see more support for the live trade from the Minister because this is the only show in town to deliver badly needed relief to hard pressed cattle farmers.”