Factories Paying More to Get Cattle with Strong Beef Demand

Cattle in Wicklow Field

IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said farmers should not take lower quoted prices for cattle as factories are paying more to get stock.

He said market demand is very strong; factories are looking for more cattle and finding it hard to get the numbers in places. He said the general base price is for steers is €3.80/kg with the base price for heifers at €3.90/kg.

Angus Woods pointed out that some factories have paid a steer base of up to €3.88 in the last week and a heifer base price of €3.95, reflecting the extra bite in the trade and tighter availability of stock, especially in the south, east and north-east of the country.

The IFA National Livestock Chairman said the official Department of Agriculture average price for R=3= grade steers for week ending September 3rd was €3.92/kg and €4.03/kg for heifers. He said R and U grade bulls were sold at €3.89 and €4.03/kg.

Angus Woods said the sterling exchange rate has moved back to 90p/€ in recent days and at a UK R3 steer price of £3.83, this is equivalent to €4.48/kg including VAT. He said the latest figures from UK retail sales show that prices are up 1.3% and volumes up 3.1%.

In addition, he said EU beef prices have increased in recent weeks and are 20c to 30c/kg over last year’s levels in the main EU markets. International beef sales are also very strong and manufacturing beef prices are exceptionally strong, up almost €1/kg.

On the live export side, Angus Woods said it is expected that there will be a new contact to Turkey for 15,000 – 25,000 weanlings. He said this is vitally important for the suckler sector.

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