The Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee, Des Morrison, has again expressed his concerns regarding Irish beef price. Mr Morrison said that comparison showed that “yet again” Irish prices were adrift of essentially similar markets, and he called on MII to furnish any kind of rational explanation for the differentials.
“As of 6th May, and excluding VAT, the Irish R3 Steer price was €5.24/kg. The same animal in Great Britain price was €5.61/kg and in Northern Ireland was higher again at €5.57/kg. In Italy, the price was €5.91/kg, while France was €5.37/kg. Would Meat Industry Ireland or any individual meat processor like to explain to us why you could have these kinds of differentials between essentially similar markets.
“We’d particularly be interested in hearing why there’s a .33c per kg difference between the Republic and our Northern colleagues? It looks very much like the old tired and cynical story where the Irish factories are emptying out their own feed lots to depress farmer price. The irony here is that they are cutting the money that would go to the winter finishers who’ll they be looking to for supplies next year.
“Who is going to buy forward store cattle for winter finishing when the factories could do the same thing next year? We would want to be very careful as an industry because we could end up with the only people able to finish winter cattle being the factories feedlots themselves and that won’t be beneficial for either them or farmer-producers in the medium term,” he said.