IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said the cattle trade is stronger this week with factories very anxious for cattle.
He said the grass cattle are more or less gone and factories will have to pay a lot more to get cattle out of sheds. Some plants have paid a base of €3.80/kg for steers and €3.90/kg for heifers but were attempting to keep the quotes 5c/kg less. He said the improvement in the weather have also taken the pressure off farmers having to house store and weanling cattle.
With the Christmas market kicking in and prices much stronger in our main export market in the UK and EU, Angus Woods said farmers should dig in hard and demand a strong lift in prices at this stage. “With cattle prices in our main export market in the UK at the equivalent of €4.40/kg and prices in the main EU markets up 25c to 35c on this time last year, it is clear the market can pay a price increase. In addition, market demand for beef is strong especially for manufacturing beef, which is reflected in higher cow prices by 30c/kg.”
Angus Woods said young bulls were making €3.80/3.90 for R/U grades and some plants had offered €3.90/4.00/kg to shift numbers. Cows are moving at €3.30/3.35 for O’s and €3.50 for R grades.
On supplies he said the factory kill is already up 75,000 head. With this increase in the kill, lower carcase weights by an average of 6kgs, and increased weanling live exports of 40,000 to Turkey, future supply numbers may be much tighter than originally anticipated.