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Beef & Sheep Update 1st September

Sheep and Cattle in Wicklow

Beef Update

IFA National Livestock Committee Chair Brendan Golden said beef prices have increased 5c/kg this week on the back of tight supplies and strong market demand. He said despite firmer prices, the Prime Irish composite price lags 34c/kg behind the prime export benchmark price. This is not acceptable and the price differential must be closed immediately. He said prices in our key export markets are strengthening, creating favourable conditions for Irish beef and factories must move forward with stronger beef prices that reflect current market conditions. Base prices for steers are now making from €4.60kg to €4.70kg while heifers range from €4.65kg to €4.75kg. Young bulls R/U are making from €4.80kg to €5.00kg. The cow trade remains firm with prices ranging from €3.80kg to €4.40kg. There are indications of tighter grass cattle supplies in the coming weeks due to poor weather conditions and demand is expected to increase from NI buyers for finished cattle as the year progresses. He said farmers should strongly resist any attempts by factories to buy cattle at lower quotes and consider the mart outlet were prices for forward store and finished cattle are proving competitive with factory quotes.

Beef Price Update 31/08/2023

Base Quotes Steer €4.60/4.70kg. Heifers €4.65/4.75kg. Higher deals and flat prices for larger and specialist lots. Y Bulls R/U €4.80/5.00Kg. Cows €3.80/4.40kg.

Supply Figures as Reported by DAFM – WK 34 (27.08.2023)

AnimalNumberChange prev wk% of totalYTDYTD Change
Y Bulls1575▲1875%84443▼-10,184 
Steer16190▼-299 47%425719▼-12,677 
Heifer9329▼-295 27%316216▼-9,361 
Veal-V6▼-4 0%30489▲2,474

Official Irish Prices as Reported by DAFM – WK 34 (27.08.2023)

c/kg(Incl. VAT)U3Change prev wkR3Change prev wkO3Change prev wkP+3Change prev wk
Steers494▼-2 483▼-2 466▼-4 435▼-3 
Heifers500▼-1 487▼-1 475▼-1 434▲4
Y Bulls483▼-4 472▼-4 450▼-1 439▲3
Cows0▲0434▼-5 401▲0387▲0

Official GB Prices as Reported by AHDB

 SteersSteersHeifersHeifersY bullY bullCow
Price in c/kg (Incl VAT)574.9577.9574.3577.0561.9561.0419.0

Euro Price for the Most Recent Week  (€/KG Deadweight excl. VAT)

Country & Type14.08.202113.08.202212.08.2023
EU + Y Bulls€ 3.90€ 4.97€ 4.78
IE + Steers€ 4.23€ 4.80€ 4.66
UK + Steers€ 4.84€ 5.18€ 5.33

Live Exports W/C 14.08.2023

Source: Bord Bia

Sheep Update

IFA Sheep Chairman Kevin Comiskey said factories must support sheep farmers with higher lamb prices to safeguard the sector. Lamb prices to date are back an average of 35c/kg which equates to a further cut of over €11.5m in sheep farmers’ incomes for the year to date. He said this is unacceptable particularly in a year when production costs are forecasted to increase a further 4% up from the 40% increase seen in 2022. Farmers have lost confidence in the sector and are exiting in abundance. He said a yearly profit of €7/ewe including the SWS payment will not entice any farmer to continue in the sector. Family farm incomes on sheep farms dropped 21% in 2022, a level of reduction the low income, vulnerable sheep sector does not have the capacity to absorb. Kevin Comiskey said sheep farming is the lowest farm system in terms of greenhouse gas emissions but farmers are not been rewarded for this. He said the sector is in crisis and factories must come forward with prices that reflect costs of production on farms in order to safeguard our sector valued at €476m in exports in 2022.

Lamb Price Update 31/08/2023

Spring Lamb €6.30/6.60/kg. Higher deals groups/larger lots. Ewes €2.70/3.00/kg.

Supply Figures as Reported by DAFM – WK 34 (27.08.2023)

AnimalFigureChangeYTDYTD Change
Lambs/Hoggets367▼-102 978866▲84,550
Spring Lambs48188▲2,170607476▼-62,758 
Ewes and Rams8459▲202183699▼-19,398 
Light Lambs1▲0128▲21

Official Irish Prices as Reported by DAFM – WK 34 (27.08.2023)

c/kg (Incl. VAT)WK 34 Change prev wk2022Change prev yr
National Avg Price623.46▲4631.98▼-9 
YTD Avg675.15▼-2 707.65▼-33 

Official GB Prices as Reported by AHDB

 R3L Overall SQQ*Type of lamb
19/08/2023583.1580.7New season lamb
26/08/2023568.5567.9New season lamb
Change▼-15 ▼-13  
Price in c/kg (Incl VAT)698.1697.3 

Live Sheep Exports Jan-June

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