Beef Update 24th April

  • Cattle Price Update. 24/4/2020. Steer base €3.40. Heifers €3.40. Y Bulls €3.20/3.50/kg. Cows €2.30/2.90/kg. Plants more anxious for in spec stock and some better offers on young bulls with prices of €3.50/kg more common. Also, more factory interest in cows.
  • 24,486 cattle slaughtered this week, of which steers were 9,917 (41%), heifers 7,823 (32%), young bulls 1,968 (8%) and cows 4,043 (17%). Total YTD slaughter is 536,562 compared to 561,611 in 2019, a 4.5% decrease.
  • Feeders continue to experience difficult in getting cattle killed with major difficulties on bulls and out of spec cattle. Restrictions on kill numbers at most plants and many on 3 days.

  • Official cattle prices reported to the EU Commission on April 19th R3 Young Bulls c/kg excl vat; EU Average €3.44/kg, Germany €3.54/kg, France €3.64/kg, Spain €3.56/kg, Austria €3.46/kg Italy €3.78/kg Poland €2.72/kg. Steer Prices; Ireland €3.41/kg, UK €3.74/kg. EU Y bull prices are down 0.5c/kg on the week and EU steers are down 4c/kg on the previous week.
  • DAFM reported Irish R3 steer prices for w/e April 19th was €3.59/kg incl vat. Heifers R3 €3.65/kg. Y Bulls O/R/U €3.24/€3.39/€3.52/kg. Cows 03 €2.64/kg.
  • UK steers were down 4.3p/kg for the week, with R3 steers making £3.35, equivalent to €4.00/kg at 88p/€ and incl 5.4% vat.
  • The latest R3 cattle prices (w/e April 12th.) from Bord Bia.

  • Extremely difficult beef market situation across the EU, with cattle prices continuing to ease back. With restaurants other food service and manufacturing outlets closed demand remains very subdued. Real difficulties for steaks and cow beef.
  • While there is an increase in retail demand for mostly mince and diced beef this has not made up for the closure in the food service sector. The position is compounded in Ireland due to our strong export dependence.
  • Some positives in the market with Supermacs reopening some drive-ins and also better reports from some EU markets.
  • 6,983 cattle were exported in the week commencing 06/4/2020, 6,386 to EU (Except NI). Live exports for 2020 amount to 118,963 compared to 136,544 in 2019. 92,830 calves exported to date this year.
  • Roundwood Livestock Ltd, has secured a Government contract to supply 12,000 bulls and steers to Algeria and loaded a boat out of Waterford last week.
  • Purcells and Viastar also buying bulls for export to Libya and Turkey.
  • IFA Payment Policy; Insist on payment on the day or sell through your local mart where payment is secure.
  • New mart arrangements are proving difficult to operate for weanlings and store cattle. Calves are easier to handle. Significant problems establishing the value of older stock in the absence of the auction ring. ICOS and marts working on an easing of restrictions with DAFM for a possible resumption of mart auctions under strictly enforced protocols.
  • URGENT REMINDER. €90 Suckler Payment. Make sure to make your BEEP-Suckler application for €80/€90 per suckler cow by May 15th closing date. Also make your BPS application early, before the May 15th closing date.

General Issues

  • Following intensive lobbying by IFA at National and EU level, the EU Agriculture Commissioner announced a €80m package of market measures, mainly Aids to Private Storage (APS) for beef, sheep and dairy in Brussels this week.
  • On beef, the APS is for €25m covering 25,000t of forequarter beef.
  • The draft Commission regulation specifies APS for separated hindquarters bone in. It also specifies grades of S, E, U and Rs with aid of €1,008/t for 90 days storage, €1,033/t for 120 days and €1,058/t for 150 days.
  • IFA has told the DAFM and EU Commission there needs to be more flexibility and that O grades must be included, boneless cuts must be covered and the rate need to be increased.
  • For sheep, the APS is for 36,000t, worth €20m.
  • On sheep, the draft regulation specifies fresh or chilled carcasses of lamb aged less than 12 months of age, with aid per tonne of €866 for 90 days, €890 for 120 days and €915 for 150 days.
  • Again, IFA has made it clear to the DAFM and the Commission there needs to be flexibility, the age needs to increase, specific cuts such as legs etc must be included and the rate per tonne needs to increase.
  • IFA is continuing to lobby hard at National and EU level for a much greater and more comprehensive package of measures to address the market and income crisis on beef result of the COVID-19 Emergency.
  • IFA demands and action are based on market supports around an effective type of APS (Aids to Private Storage) and direct payment to farmers on price losses. IFA are also demanding action to suspend non-EU beef imports.
  • At National level IFA are requesting Minister Creed to immediately make available the c€24m in unspent BEAM funds to farmers selling finished cattle at a major loss.
  • This week IFA met (conference call) with Bord Bia on progressing Irelands application for PGI status for Irish Grass Fed Beef.
  • IFA also met Bord Bia on the introduction of remote assessments for Quality Assurance Audits/inspections. This will allow farmers remain quality assured and complete audits/inspection remotely, using mobile phones and the internet and without the necessity of a farm visit.
  • IFA secured clarification regarding farmers eligibility for the weekly COVID-19 payment of €350 per week.

Keep up to date on all IFA work on

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