Cattle Prices, EU Meat market Observatory, Beef Taskforce and Lamb Prices.
- Cattle Prices need to rise. IFA said this week farmers selling finished cattle should demand higher beef prices as all the market factors show the factories can pay more. Prices in our main export market in the UK have increased by 44c/kg since April 25th, while Irish prices have only risen by 22c/kg. AHBD report that UK cattle prices continue to rise strongly up another 2.3p/kg for week ended June 20th. The UK steer price is at £3.68/kg, equivalent to €4.29/kg incl vat. This is 48c/kg above the Irish price, which amounts to a price differential of €173 on an average steer. Cattle price across the main EU markets are also recovering with retail sales continue to show very strong growth and food service coming back as the Covid restrictions are eased. Factories agents and procurement managers are very active buying finished cattle in the marts and on line and paying prices that are significantly above their quoted prices. In addition, Northern Ireland factories are very active, paying prices from 10 to 20c/kg above Irish prices. The Northern Ireland LMC report that 785 cattle were exported live from the Republic to Northern Ireland for slaughter in the week to June 20 The R3 steer price in Northern Ireland was £3.61/kg, which is equivalent to €4.20/kg. Department of Agriculture AIMs data on future cattle supplies shows that on May 1st there was a reduction of 83,000 in the number of beef cattle in the 12-24-month category and 10,000 in the 24-36 month category compared to 2019, meaning that supplies over the next number of months will remain much tighter than 2019 levels. Retail consumption figures for Ireland continue to show very strong growth on beef sales, up 17.4% for the last 12 weeks to May 17th., compared to 2019 levels. In the UK, retail data shows beef volume sales up 22.4% and value sales up 23.1%, for the 12-week period to May 17th compared to 2019, with stake sales up 24% and mince up 36%.
- EU Meat Market Observatory. IFA participated in the EU Commission Meat Market Observatory meeting in Brussels this week, where the Commission said the beef market is recovering slowly from Covid and prices are rising in most member states. EU exports are down 8% for the Jan-Arp period but imports are down 22%. IFA highlighted the major inadequacies in beef market supports in the CAP policy for a crisis like Covid and the ongoing uncertainties from Brexit. In a discussion on Farm to Fork, IFA highlighted the importance of a profitable and sustainable beef sector for rural areas and communities, land use and integration with other sectors like dairy.
- Beef Taskforce. IFA attended a Beef Taskforce meeting this week and called on the processors to increase prices in line with increased market returns. IFA pointed out cattle prices in our main export market in the UK have increased by 40c/kg since April 25th, while Irish prices have only risen by 22c/kg. IFA questioned consultants Grant Thornton on the investigation into the supply chain and insisted that the Minister must tell the beef factories and the retailers to co-operate fully and provide all the required price and margin information for this important investigation. IFA also raised issues on the Bord Bia Grass fed and PGI proposals around the lack of proper consultation with farmers and the need for more engagement.
- Lamb Prices. Strong market demand for lamb with factories paying 20c to 30c above low quoted prices. UK lamb prices increased up 17.6p/kg lw in the week at £2.36/kg, which is equivalent to €5.84/kg incl vat.
- Latest Beef price update. 25/6/2020. Steer base €3.60/3.65kg. Heifers €3.60/3.70. Young Bulls R/U €3.60/3.65kg. Cows €2.80/3.30/kg.
- Supplies. 36,383 cattle slaughtered week ended June 21st., of which steers were 13,591 (37%), heifers 10,216 (28%), young bulls 3,306 (9%) and cows 8,553 (24%). Total YTD slaughter is 804,508 compared to 855,889 in 2019, a 6.5% decrease.
- Official Prices. Irish R3 steer prices for w/e June 21st. was €3.81/kg incl vat. Heifers R3 €3.85/kg. Y Bulls O/R/U €3.45/€3.66/€3.81/kg. Cows P/O/R €2.75/2.87/€3.09/kg.
- UK cattle prices. AHBD report that UK cattle prices continue to rise strongly up another 2.3p/kg for week ended June 20th. The UK steer price is at £3.68/kg, equivalent to €4.29/kg incl vat.
- Official cattle prices reported to the EU Commission on June 21st. R3 Young Bulls c/kg excl vat; EU Average €3.50/kg, Germany €3.55/kg, France €3.65/kg, Spain €3.46/kg, Austria €3.48/kg Italy €3.90/kg Poland €2.84/kg. Steer Prices; Ireland €3.62/kg, UK €4.06/kg. EU Cow price €2.75/kg +2.17c/kg. Heifers €3.65/kg +1.64c/kg.
- Live Exports. 5,634 cattle were exported in the week commencing 15/6/2020, 3,543 to EU (Except NI). Live exports for 2020 amount to 174,721 compared to 224,472 in 2019.
- In a positive move on live exports, the Turkish Ministry has recently announced that the live imports of weanling cattle are set to resume in the coming weeks.
- Lamb Price. For 25/6/2020. Strong demand. Factories paying €5.45/5.50/kg. Top prices €5.60/kg paid to 21.5kgs. Ewes €2.70/2.80/kg.
- 61,777 sheep were slaughtered at sheep export premises the week ended June 21st. compared to 56,726 in the same week of 2019. Sheep slaughtering’s for 2020 are 5% up on 2019 at 1,255,886 head.
- In selling lambs, select carefully and avoid overweight and under finished lambs. The advice is as always – move lambs as they become fit.
- In the UK. Major increase in lamb prices in the UK this week. The SQQ (Standard Quality Quotation) at the marts was up 17.6p/kg lw in the week at £2.36/kg, which is equivalent to €5.84/kg incl vat.
- Main New season Bord Bia Lamb TV promotions running from June 1st to 21st. Second wave from July 13th to 28th as part of EU Lamb Try it-Love it campaign.
- Quality Assurance. IFA has written to Bord Bia requesting a stakeholders meeting to advance Quality assurance on the sheep meat side. IFA has consistently called on factories to increase the QA bonus to 30c/kg in order to increase the number of sheep farmers in the Quality assurance scheme from 12,000.
- Letter to Minister Creed on Lamb Imports. IFA has written to Minister Creed about live lamb imports demanding that the Department of Agriculture publish the volumes and origin of all lamb imports on a weekly basis. In addition, IFA has requested that the Department and Bord Bia clarify the situation regarding traceability, origin and quality assurance status on all lamb processed in Irish factories.
- IFA will continue to publish lamb prices twice weekly and all of the latest data is on ifa.ie