Longford Leader Farming: ‘Northern’ steers fetching €250 per head more than ‘Southern’ equivalent

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Cattle prices are rising say IFA

ICMSA Livestock Chairperson, Des Morrison, has drawn attention to the 70 cents per kilo difference between ‘Northern’ beef prices and their ‘Southern’ counterparts.

ICMSA Livestock Chairperson, Des Morrison, has drawn attention to the 70 cents per kilo difference between ‘Northern’ beef prices and their ‘Southern’ counterparts.

 

A difference that Mr Morrison has previously described as “staggering” and “inexplicable” and which he estimates as amounting to a difference of €250 to €300 for the ‘Northern’ equivalent of our R3 steers in Northern and UK factory prices.

“We drew attention to this gulf in price earlier this year, but it’s still there and we’re now seeing it in marts close to the border versus further south. We are seeing angus-bred cattle making €2.50 to €260 per kg LW in the marts”, said Mr Morrison.

“What’s infuriating is seeing factory buyers willing to compete with northern buyers at the marts and pay above the cost of production, but dropping those prices when farmers bring cattle directly to the factory for slaughter. Why not give the money directly to the farmers?

"If the factory buyers are willing to pay €4.50 - €4.90/Kg DW at the marts then we’re looking at approximately €200 per head, as well as QA bonus on top of that. I can’t understand why the factories can’t give those prices to farmers if they’re prepared to pay them competing with the buyers in marts? The net result is that in what’s considered to be a reasonably good time for beef prices, we’re actually still below the costs of production”, said Mr Morrison.