Beef export prices vary by as much as €205/hd
FARMERS are being urged to 'shop around' to get the best deal with figures showing that prices paid by beef export factories can vary by as much as €205 a head.
Analysis of the prices paid reveal a difference of up to 54c/kg in similar grade steer prices and up to 57c/kg for heifers at the factories delivering the highest returns to suppliers.
This means that beef finishers stand to gain up to €4,000 on a typical load of steers or heifers by dealing with the right processor.
The prices were compiled by the Department of Agriculture at each of the country's 25 beef export factories for the week ending May 23.
ICMSA livestock chairman, Michael Guinan, called on the Department to provide more transparency on factory prices to assist farmers get the best return.
"The Department could further enhance the Beef Pricewatch facility on its website by publishing the range of prices paid by a meat plant for each grade on weekly basis to further enhance the level of price transparency for farmers," he said.
"Farmers also now need to examine the differential between meat plants, with the differential over €200 per head in some cases," he added.
While it may not be practical for farmers to drive long distances to plants, Mr Guinan urged farmers to refer to the Department's Beef Pricewatch website facility for information when negotiating a price with their meat processor.