IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said factories are anxious for cattle this week and the factory message to agents is not to let any cattle slip away.
He said this is a reflection of the strong market demand both in the UK and across Europe. In addition, the Christmas trade is kicking in at this stage and factories need the stock.
Angus Woods said farmers are not parting with cattle at the lower quoted prices on offer from some factories and are insisting and getting a base price of €3.75/kg for steers and €3.85/kg for heifers.
Stronger market demand for beef in our main export markets in the UK and Continental Europe must be reflected in higher prices on offer from the factories.
Angus Woods said across our main Continental EU beef markets, cattle prices are up 30 cent/kg since this time last year, with very strong demand for manufacturing beef evident in stronger cull cow prices. In Britain, our largest export market R3 steer prices are £3.76/kg, equivalent to €4.45/kg including VAT.
The IFA Livestock leader said large volumes of cattle have already been killed and exported live this year. The kill is already up 72,000 head, 38,000 additional young bulls have been shipped to Turkey in the last 12 months and carcase weights are an average of 6kgs per head lower, accounting for the equivalent of another 30,000 head of cattle. He said all of these disposals, which amount to 140,000 head, have eaten well into any extra numbers and will leave supplies much tighter than originally anticipated.
Angus Woods said the factories were offering €3.80/kg for R grade bulls and €3.90/3.95 for U grades. He said cow prices are a strong trade with €3.60 for U grades, €3.50 for R grades, €3.30 for O grades and €3.20 for P grades.
The IFA livestock leader said the most recent Department of Agriculture official paid prices at the factories for week ending October 15th show that the average R=3= steer price was €3.85/kg, heifers were an average of €3.96kg, young bulls U/R/Os were at €4.01/3.83/3.64/kg and cows were making U/R/O/P+ €3.63/3.50/3.33/3.22/kg.