Factories attempt to cut price to €4.10/kg base
While Darren Clarke's appointment makes it two in a row for Irish Ryder Cup captains, beef finishers do not have any desire for two years of Irish beef prices at least €1/kg behind the British price. Bord Bia reports the VAT inclusive price from across the water is at €5.28/kg for the R4L steer.
Here, the factories have spent the past week trying to drop prices by 5c/kg to a base of €4.10/kg.
Their attempts to apply this negativity is typical but unnecessary at a time when we are also reading good news stories every week about market opportunities in America and China for Irish beef.
Yes, the weekly kills have been quite strong and continue north of the 30,000hd mark.
However, last week's estimated kill of 31,321hd was 800hd lower than the corresponding week last year, and may well be the first signs of this year's weekly kills dropping below 2014 levels.
Farmers are aware of the expected shortfall this year and feel it could begin to impact sooner rather than later. The parties involved in the 'Forum' need to ensure that explanations, reasons and answers from the processors are satisfactory.
I have heard the concept of 'producer organisations' mentioned quite a bit recently and, while they definitely will have a role, we can be fairly confident they are not going to cure all ills in the beef sector.