IFA National Livestock Chair Brendan Golden said market conditions are favourable for beef as prices in our key export markets stabilise and in cases strengthen and when aligned with the tighter supplies of suitably finished cattle is adding to the increased demand from factories for cattle this week.
He said to date 997,516 cattle have been processed during 2022, an increase of 89,716 head or 10% from the corresponding period in 2021. Prime cattle throughput has increased by 45,677 head with cow throughput increasing by 34,122 head.
Brendan Golden said cattle supplies off grass are expected to remain steady and with cattle throughput operating very strongly in Northern there is an expected increase in demand for exports of forward store and finished cattle as the year progresses.
The IFA National Livestock Chair said there is room for stronger beef price returns in the market place with the Irish Prime Composite Price at €4.82/kg now a full 19c/kg below the Prime Export Benchmark Price of €5.01c/kg.
He said attempts by factories earlier this week to reduce quotes further did not succeed and as the week has progressed prices offered to secure cattle increased, €4.90/kg and €5.00/kg has been offered to secure steers and heifers with higher prices for larger and specialist lots despite lower quotes.
Demand for cows is strong, P grades are starting at €4.40/kg, O grades at €4.60/kg with R/U grades making €4.80/kg to €5.00/kg.
R/U grading Young Bulls are making €4.80/kg to €5.00/kg.
Brendan Golden said the live export trade has performed well so far in 2022 with cattle exports running 13% ahead of 2021 levels. There were 215,539 cattle exported from Ireland up to the week ending 10 July 2022.
The IFA National Livestock Chair said exports of weanlings are ahead of previous years, driven by the increase in cattle being exported to third country markets and also some increase to customers in the EU.
He said it is vital for competition in the weanling market that the strong exporter activity continues into peak weanling sales and factory prices are strong to maximise competition between finishers and exporters for weanlings.