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Independent.ie

Friday 23 February 2018

Factory quotes for steers drop to €3.90/kg

ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan has called for efforts to develop live exports to Britain
ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan has called for efforts to develop live exports to Britain

Declan O'Brien and Joe Healy

Factory quotes for steers dropped below the €4/kg mark this week for the first time in almost nine months.

Meat plants pulled prices by 10-15c/kg and are now on a base of 390c/kg for bullocks. Heifer quotes are back by a similar amount, with most plants working off a base of 400c/kg.

The latest cuts equate to €35-40/hd on finished stock and came on the back of a series of price reductions that saw quotes fall by close to 80c/kg in the past three months or almost €280/hd.

The changes mean the price differential between Ireland and Britain has increased to €370/hd for finished stock. Responding to the latest price cuts, the ICSA has called for a concerted effort to be made to develop live exports to Britain.

"Live export markets for Irish cattle must be aggressively developed globally, but with Britain only producing 80pc of the beef required to satisfy domestic demand, we cannot ignore the potential to create strong live trade links with our nearest neighbour," said ICSA beef chairman Edmond Phelan.

"Recent beef price cuts, along with the fact that there are now very severe cuts for non-quality assured beef, prove again that there is no future for Irish beef farmers if they are exclusively dependent on Irish meat factories. Competition is crucial in this industry," Mr Phelan said.

"We're delighted to hear that Bord Bia has reaffirmed its commitment to the live export sector but it is now up to Minister Coveney and all relevant State agencies to get cattle moving across the Irish Sea."

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