Based on Bord Bia’s analysis of the marketplace, the supply of cattle this coming Autumn is likely to be less than expected and thus further downward pressures on cattle prices which is not justified may not materialise, according to Mr. Michael Guinan, Chairperson of ICMSA’s Livestock Committee.
According to the AIMS database, Mr. Guinan said, that there was 35,000 less male cattle between 24-36 months and 9,000 less female beef cattle in the 24-36 months age category on 1 June 2016 compared to 1 June 2015 and this provides a strong indication that cattle supplies for the rest of 2016 may be tighter than had been previously expected.
Beef prices, Mr. Guinan said, have fallen by 37cents per kg since this time last year and by 18c/kg year to date. This is equivalent to a loss €130 per head compared to this time last year on the average steer and this is before all the different specifications are applied to this animal. Based on the presentation from Bord Bia, Mr. Guinan said, that the markets for Irish beef remain in a strong position and should the USA beef market get up and running this Autumn and should progress be made on the Chinese market, the current negative sentiment in relation to beef prices could be reversed.
The annual campaign by meat processors to cut beef prices at this time of year, Mr. Guinan said, has started earlier and based on market developments, there is no justification for further reductions. The cattle kill for the remainder of the year is likely to be lower than expected and when selling cattle, farmers should be conscious of this fact. The mind games, Mr. Guinan said, that has bedeviled our beef industry continue and unfortunately, following yesterdays Beef Forum, I have seen very little evidence to suggest that this will change.
The Minister confirmed that for future Beef Forum meetings, the stakeholders will be given the opportunity to set agenda items and in this regard, ICMSA will be proposing that the review of the Beef Grid and related specifications will be on the agenda for the next meeting, an issue that ICMSA has been the only organisation to consistently call for a review, concluded Mr. Guinan.
ENDS. 22 July 2016
Michael Guinan is at (086) 8766851.