IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said the cattle trade continues to strengthen with strong demand for cattle from the factories, live exporters and also at the marts.
He said, at the factories the base price for steers is moving towards €4.10/kg and some factories are paying €4.20/kg for heifers for next week. He said in general this week €4.05/4.10 was the base range for steers and €4.15/4.20 for heifers.
The official Department of Agriculture prices for week ending April 30th show that the factories paid an average of €4.17/kg for R3 grade steers and €4.29/kg for R3 grade heifers.
He said some strong prices for bulls have also been offered with a flat R/U price of €4.15/kg. In general he said U grade bulls are making up to €4.20 and R grades on €4.05. Cow prices are also strong at up to €3.70 for R grades, €3.45/3.50 for Os and €3.35/3.40 for Ps.
Angus Woods said feeders selling cattle should push agents and factories hard on price as numbers are very tight and in high demand. He said factories are very concerned about the availability of numbers over the next two months before the grass cattle are available.
The IFA Livestock leader said the live export trade is also buoyant with buying for shipping to Turkey, Libya and Algeria. This is putting a solid base in all categories of stock at the marts.
He said it is very positive that another boat load of 3,000 cattle went to Turkey over a week ago. This is the first shipment by Purcell Bros. for a contract for 20,000 cattle they has secured for Turkey. Positive news of shipments to Libya and Algeria have also been in the news in the last two weeks.
Angus Woods said he is confident that more Irish exporters will secure more contracts for the Turkish market and the live trade will be active throughout the summer and into next autumn.
He said to date this year almost 100,000 head have been exported live, with up on 75,000 calves, mainly to Spain, Holland and Belgium. He said the calf export trade has been significantly helped by the reduction in Department charges secured by the IFA.
Angus Woods issued the usual IFA advice regarding payments, saying that farmers should insist on payment on the day when selling to meat plants and otherwise sell in their local mart where payment can be guaranteed. He said taking a risk with the security of payment makes no sense.