IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said the Christmas beef trade is in peak demand this week and factories are very anxious for cattle. He said the difficult weather has disrupted some cattle deliveries today (Monday) and left some outlets short.
Angus Woods said prices remain firm with the base price for steers ranging from €3.90/kg to a top of €4.00/kg all in. He said heifers are in very strong demand with the base price at €4.05 to €4.10/kg.
The IFA National Livestock Chairman said market demand remains very strong and this is reflected in high cattle prices in the UK and across the main European markets. He said UK cattle prices at £3.78/kg are equivalent to €4.53./kg incl vat. at an exchange rate of 88p/€. Cattle prices in our main European export markets are up 30c to 40c/kg on last year’s levels. In France young bulls are making €4.20/kg incl 5.4% flat rate vat. In Germany young bulls are at €4.35 and in Italy young bulls have moved up to €4.46/kg.
Angus Woods said the increases in cattle prices are reflected in the higher official reported prices from the Department of Agriculture for week ended Dec 3rd which show that the average R=3= steer price was at €3.95/kg, heifers at €4.08. O/R/U grade bulls at €3.80/3.95/4.05 and Cows U/R/O/P+ at €3.66/3.56/3.33/3.20./kg.
He said the weekly factory kill had moved up to 40,473 and the total kill is up 93,000 head.
Angus Woods said IFA has led the charge for price increases for winter finishers in the lead into Christmas and he highlighted that Teagasc figures which show that winter finishers need a beef price in the range of €4.30 to €4.50/kg.
On Live exports Angus Woods said numbers are up 45,000 on last year at 179,000 head. Exports to Turkey are running at 27,227. 2 boats are expected to load and sail pre-Christmas. IFA working with DAFM on ferry access for next Jan/Mar, when Stena propose to dry-dock their existing vessel from mid Feb to mid-March, a crucial 4 week period during the calf export season.