CattleFactory Cattle Prices

Beef Update April 6th

Cattle in Wicklow Field

General Issues

  • At national level IFA has undertaken an intensive lobby of politicians focused on the need for immediate Government and EU action to address the market and income crisis on beef and lamb as a result of the COVID-19 Emergency.
  • IFA demands and action are based around the detailed IFA Submission to the EU Commission including 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 address imports and more promotions at retail level.
  • Minister Creed and senior officials in the DAFM have been lobbied and fully briefed on the issues.
  • At European level through our Brussels office and COPA, the relevant EU Commissioners and Commission officials have all been made fully aware of the very difficult situation at farm level in Ireland. In addition, key players from other member states have been briefed with particular focus on the French, Polish and Italians on beef and the French on sheep.
  • IFA has been in contact with the major banks seeking flexibilities on all facilities including overdraft/stocking and term loans. It is important farmers make contact with their bank and apply for assistance.
  • Be aware of the IFA Plan B, to assist any farmer unable to farm. See


  • Latest Beef Price Update. 6/4/2020. Steer base price €3.40/kg. Heifers €3.40/kg. Young Bulls extremely difficult to sell. O/R/U €3.30/3.40/3.50. Cows P/O/R/U €2.50/€2.60-2.79/2.70-2.75/kg.
  • 32,773 cattle slaughtered w/e March 29th., of which steers were 12,045 (37%), heifers 10,489 (32%), young bulls 2,783 (8%) and cows 6,770 (21%). Total YTD slaughter is 456,066 compared to 459,320 in 2019, a 0.7% decrease.
  • IFA is in constant contact with the processors and MII to try and get some stability to the trade.
  • Extremely difficult to get Bulls and out od spec cattle moved. Significant restrictions on kill numbers emerging.
  • The latest cattle prices (w/e March 29th) across the main EU markets are now starting to show price reductions. Bord Bia web site.

  • There is always a lag factor between actual prices and reported prices.
  • Some official cattle prices reported to the EU Commission on March 29th 2020; R3 Young Bulls c/kg excl vat; EU Average €3.52/kg, Germany €3.56/kg, France €3.75/kg, Spain €3.69/kg, Austria €3.60/kg Italy €3.50/kg Poland €2.76/kg. Steer Prices; Ireland €3.64/kg, UK €3.74/kg.
  • In the week ending March 29th; EU Young bull prices were back 0.5c/kg, steers were down 1.67c/kg, cows were down 4.6c/kg and heifers back 3.8c/kg.
  • Extremely difficult beef market situation across the EU. 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.
  • IFA worked closely with the marts and the DAFM to get marts working again, be it in a very restrictive manner. Marts have to agree a SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) with their DVO to proceed.
  • 17,220 cattle were exported live in the week commencing 16/3/2020, 16,599 mainly calves to EU (Except NI). Live exports for 2020 amount to 88,208 compared to 88,532 in 2019. While some calves are continuing to move, the loss of the restaurant and food service market has impacted hard on the veal trade in Holland. Purcell’s loaded a boat for Turkey last week.
  • Roundwood Livestock Ltd, a new live export company based in Wicklow, with Dr Ahmed Salman as the principle, has secured a Government contract to supply 12,000 bulls and steers to Algeria. Roundwood are currently purchasing for this.
  • IFA Payment Policy; Insist on payment on the day or sell through your local mart where payment is secure.
  • Increased promotions from Bord Bia with a TV ad on beef steaks and other meets.
  • IFA has requested SuperValu clarify its beef purchasing policy after labelling errors were highlighted. IFA also highlighted issues around the use of “produced in Ireland” logo and the absence of the Bord Bia QA logo, despite a clear commitment from SuperValue that all its fresh beef is Bord Bia Quality Assured and Irish.
  • IFA is demanding that 100% of the BPS and other direct payment schemes will be made in the early autumn. The DAFM has paused the majority of inspections for the next 2 weeks. The nitrates deadline extended to end of June.
  • 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.

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