IFA President Joe Healy said grass cattle supplies are tightening rapidly and, together with the positive change to the sterling exchange rate and strong Christmas market demand, cattle prices are rising.
Farmers selling cattle this week are demanding and getting significant price increases of up to 10c above the quoted prices.
The grass kill has worked through and factories are finding it very difficult to get stock with base prices of €3.70/kg on steers and €3.80/kg on heifers being paid. Some deals above these prices are also on offer.
In the vast majority of cases a decision has now been made to sell or to house and this in itself has tightened numbers and given farmers more bargaining power.
In our main market in the UK, R3 steers are reported at £3.59/kg, which is equivalent to €4.39 at the 86p/€ exchange rate. The report from the UK is that cattle are a firm trade and they are moving rapidly into the high demand Christmas procurement period. Against this background, it is expected that the trade is likely to pick up.