'Worrying number of farmers complaining about grading at the meat plants'
IFA President Joe Healy has said there are an increasing and worrying number of farmers complaining about grading at the meat plants.
He is urging farmers to carefully check their grades and if they are not satisfied contact the plant or the IFA to have the grades checked.
He said IFA has demanded that Department Agriculture Officers are given the responsibility to constantly monitor both the carcase trim and classification on the line in meat plants.
He said this is a commitment that must be honoured.
Healy said beef prices are continuing to rise with factories actively looking for finished cattle this week. He said last week’s kill was 39,800 and to date this year an additional 81,000 head of cattle have been processed.
Joe Healy said factories are prepared to pay well above quoted prices to get numbers. He said factories are offering a minimum base price of €3.90/kg on steers and €4.00/kg on heifers, with top prices of €4.05/kg paid.
He said there is very strong market demand for fit cattle and finishers should maximise the opportunity to drive on prices. He said farmers are moving with the changing situation and are looking for a base of €4.00 on steers and €4.10 on heifers.
The IFA President said beef market prices are rising with UK prices up 2p/kg in the last week to the equivalent of €4.45/kg. He said cattle prices in the main EU markets of Italy, France and Germany are also up 40c/kg on this time last year.
He said these are very substantial price increases in the big EU markets and show that there is major opportunity for Irish prices to rise further.
"Factories are very anxious for stock and are finding it extremely difficult to get numbers at the current low quoted prices. He said the kill to date this year is up 81,000 head, carcase weights are down an average of 6kg, accounting for another 35,000 cattle and an additional 40,000 weanlings have been shipped to Turkey in the last year.
"He said all of this points to finished cattle numbers being a lot tighter than previously anticipated," he said.
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