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Beef & Sheep Update 22nd December

Cattle and Sheep in Wicklow Field, Ireland

Beef Update

IFA Livestock Chairman Brendan Golden said the average Irish composite price to date in 2023 is €4.92/kg up 4.4% on 2022 levels. The average price for Irish R3 steers in 2023 stands at €4.96/kg up 19c/kg on 2022. He said despite the upward trend in cattle prices, challenges such as rising feed costs and the impact of regulatory compliance are eroding profit margins for beef producers. Total throughput to week 50 2023 stands at 1,729,538 head, a decrease of 41,651/head or (-2.35%) on the same period last year. This reduction is particularly evident in the prime cattle kill with young bulls, steers and heifers falling 15,030/head, 20,610/head, and 11,919/head on 2022 figures. He said the live cattle export industry has witnessed positive developments in 2023 marked by robust growth particularly for calves. Export figures are operating over 12% higher than the same period in 2022 at over 318,000/head. He said noteworthy advancements in animal welfare practices and transportation logistics have contributed to the industries favourable performance

Beef Price Update 21/12/2023

Base Quotes Steer €4.95/5.10kg. Heifers €5.00/5.15kg. Higher deals and flat prices for larger and specialist lots. Y Bulls R/U €5.00/5.30Kg. Cows €3.90/4.60kg.

Supply Figures as Reported by DAFM – WK 50 (17.12.2023)

AnimalNumberChange prev wk% of totalYTDYTD Change
Y Bulls3,048▲2808%113,351▼-15,030 
Steer11,834▼-337 31%674,584▼-20,610 
Veal-V7▼-22 0%30,764▲2,382
Veal-Z45▼-26 0%1,724▲11

Official Irish Prices as Reported by DAFM – WK 50 (17.12.2023)

c/kg (Incl. VAT)U3Change prev wkR3Change prev wkO3Change prev wkP+3Change prev wk
Y Bulls510▲3501▲2487▲6479▲5

Official GB Prices as Reported by AHDB

 SteersSteersHeifersHeifersY bullY bullCow
Change▲1▲0▲2▲2▼-3 ▲7▼-1 
Price in c/kg (Incl VAT)603.1606.7602.0607.3589.5589.5394.6

Live Exports W/C 11.12.2023

Source: Bord Bia

Sheep Update

IFA Sheep Chairman Adrian Gallagher said lamb prices have remained steady this week. Lambs are making from €6.60kg to €6.85kg with higher deals for larger and specialised lots. Factories are anxious for fleshed lambs and deals on transport and weights up to 23kg have been secured. Cull ewes are making from €2.70kg to €3.10kg in general.  Commenting on the past year from a price perspective Adrian Gallagher said it has been a difficult year with lamb prices averaging €6.60/kg, back20c/kg on the 2022 average price. He said this reduction in price has cost sheep farmers over 10m in 2023 and combined with the high input and production costs on sheep farms it has continued to impact the sectors profitability at farm level. Adrian Gallagher said demand for lamb in our key export markets has remained relatively subdued with inflation and the high price point of lamb relative to other proteins continuing to impact consumption impacting demand for lamb.

Lamb Price Update 21/12/2023

Spring Lamb €6.60/6.85/kg. Weights to 23kg. Higher deals groups/larger lots. Ewes €2.70/3.10/kg.

Supply Figures as Reported by DAFM – WK 50 (17.12.2023)

AnimalFigureChangeYTDYTD Change
Lambs/Hoggets147▼-14 986,906▲79,788
Spring Lambs57,871▲2,8601,464,197▼-74,444 
Ewes and Rams6,358▲132324,096▼-51,879 
Light Lambs4▲2159▲12

Official Irish Prices as Reported by DAFM – WK 50 (17.12.2023)

c/kg (Incl. VAT)This week Change prev. wk2022Change prev. yr
National Avg Price645.22▲3646.07▼-1 
YTD Avg659.97▼-0 680.65▼-21 

Official GB Prices as Reported by AHDB

 R3L Overall SQQ*Type of lamb
09/11/2023588.2588.2New season lamb
16/12/2023587.4585.3New season lamb
Change▼-1 ▼-3  
Price in c/kg (Incl VAT)721.3718.7 

Live Sheep Exports Jan-Sep

Source: Bord Bia

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