Jul 302013

Beef farmers have suffered a €3.5 million loss in three weeks due to the reduction of beef prices by processors since the end of June, according to Mr. Michael Guinan, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Beef and Cattle Committee, a reduction that cannot be justified in any way.

An analysis of price paid to beef farmers for steers, heifers and cows has shown a huge loss of income in the last month. Mr Guinan said that comparing prices in the three categories for the week ending June 30 and subsequently calculating the loss of income from the lower price for the first three weeks of July shows a massive loss of just under €3.5 million. It should also be noted that young bulls are excluded from this analysis which would drive this figure even higher.

This loss in income, Mr. Guinan said, comes at a time when farmers are at their busiest preparing for what could be a long winter if fodder shortage predictions are borne out. A strong cattle price at this time of year is not only important to cattle finishers but right down the supply chain to store producers, weanling producers and suckler farmers.   All these farmers faced massive obstacles to beef production in the last eighteen months due to weather and fodder so it absolutely essential that there is a strong market for cattle when these farmers sell their produce, stated Mr Guinan

To ensure a strong market, meat processors must return to the higher prices of June for farmers to stay viable over the autumn and winter periods. With a tight supply situation across the UK and Europe, it is unthinkable that prices should fall to the level of the last three weeks, concluded Mr. Guinan.

Ends           25 July 2013

Michael Guinan, 086 8766851

Chairman, ICMSA Beef & Cattle Committee


Paul Smyth, 087 9889221

ICMSA Policy Officer