Beef & Sheep UpdateCattleSheep

Beef & Sheep Update 24th July

Sheep and Cattle in Wicklow

CAP/MFF Outcome

  • EU heads of state, including Taoiseach Michael Martin agreed an EU Budget for the next 7 years (2021 to 2027) in Brussels earlier this week. As well as a recovery package for the EU in response to the Covid-19 crisis, this plan also agreed the CAP Budget and a Brexit Adjustment Reserve of €5bn. The overall value of the Package was €1.8 trillion.
  • The final outcome is slightly better than the original Commission proposals At constant prices (adjusted for inflation) the CAP Budget was reduced from €382.8bn in 2014/2020 period to €243.9bn in 2021/2027 period, a reduction of 10.1%. In current prices (excluding inflation) the CAP Budget was maintained or slightly increased.
  • While the detailed breakdown of the CAP Budget figures for each individual country have yet to be provided by the Commission, the Taoiseach outlined to the Dail that the CAP Budget for Ireland had increased by €50m from €10.68bn (2014-2020) to €10.73bn (2021-2027) at current prices. However, Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary has indicated that the reduced budget will lead to a 3% reduction in BPS (Basic payment Scheme) payments from 2021 onwards.
  • Member states have the opportunity of increasing the level of National co-financing under CAP Pillar II measures. The level of co-financing is a national decision and has been set at a standard 43% EU and 57% national funding. This is a major change compared to the last CAP programming period, when in Irelands case the level of co-financing was 54% EU and 46% national.
  • If the Irish Government co-finance at the national rate of 57%, it could leave a 7-year RDP worth €5.241bn (2021-2027) compared to €4.1bn in the last period (2014-2020).
  • The debate will now move quickly to the level of National co-financing the Irish Government is prepared to provide, which will be critical in terms of financing future farm schemes and farm incomes.
  • IFA has set a target that Direct Payments (both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2), should increase from the current annual level of €1.8bn to €2bn in the next CAP post 2020.

IFA Budget 2021 Proposals

  • IFA has finalised its proposals to Government for Budget 2021, which will be in early October.
  • The specific proposals for Livestock and Sheep Farmers include the following;
    • Suckler Cows – targeted support of €300 per cow.
    • Additional €17m funding for BEEP-S for 2020 and future years
    • Increase in funding for BDGP from €45m to €90m.
    • Payment of €290 on the first 10 cows and €250 on the remainder for 2021.
    • Sheep Welfare – targeted payment of €30 per ewe from EU and national funding.
    • Brexit and Covid-19 Compensation for beef price losses.
    • Full compensation for all losses including €160m beef price losses from may 12th until Dec 31 2019 and €113m (€163-€50m Beef pandemic payment) losses from Jan 1st until July 5th On going losses of €6m per week.
    • €232m funding for Environmental schemes including reopening GLAS for the 2-year CAP transition.
    • Increase of €50m funding to bring ANC payments to €300m.
    • Increased funding for Climate change measures, Organic farming, KT schemes, Producer organisations, TAMs, Walk schemes, Farm Assist and Animal health measures.
    • A range of progressive taxation proposals.

€50m Beef Finishers Pandemic Payment

  • IFA has made a detailed submission to the Department of Agriculture on the allocation of the €50m Beef Finishers Scheme, secured by the Association following an intensive lobby from April to June.
  • IFA is clear that the payment should be €100 per animal and targeted to beef finishers that incurred the highest losses in terms of price cuts/market disturbance and the highest feeding costs.
  • The President met with the new Minister for Agriculture Dara Calleary this week and reiterated the IFA position along with discussing key issues on CAP, Brexit, Climate, Food Ombudsman and more. IFA also lobbied Government TDs on the issue this week.


  • Cattle prices continued to rise in the last week with more factories paying a base of €3.75 for steers and €3.75/3.80 for heifers.
  • Latest Beef price update. 23/7/2020. Steer base €3.75/kg. Heifers €3.75/3.80/kg. Young Bulls R/U €3.70/3.80kg. Cows €3.00/3.50/kg.
  • Supplies. 35,302 cattle slaughtered this week, of which steers were 15,119 (43%), heifers 8,952 (25%), young bulls 1,869 (5%) and cows 8,544 (24%). Total YTD slaughter is 949,930 compared to 995,666 in 2019, a 4.6% decrease.
  • Carcase Weights. Weights are up significantly this year, with steers carcases up 6.5kgs, heifers +7.4 kgs and young bulls up 7.4kgs, compared with 2019 levels.
  • Official Prices. Irish R3 steer prices for w/e July 19th. was €3.91/kg incl vat. Heifers R3 €3.94p/kg. Y Bulls O/R/U €3.60/€3.79/€4.00/kg. Cows P/O/R €2.98/3.05/€3.26/kg.
  • UK cattle prices. AHBD report that UK cattle prices declined slightly by 1p/kg. The UK R3 steer price for week ending July 19th was at £3.68/kg, equivalent to €4.26/kg incl vat. @ an exchange rate of 91p/€. UK prices are running 34p/kg above 2019 levels. The AHDB are reporting that the number of cattle available for slaughter in the coming weeks in both Britain and Ireland is low. Cow prices in the UK continue to rise with -O4L at £2.74, equivalent to €3.17/kg incl vat. Northern Ireland prices are also rising strongly with R3 steers at £3.72/kg, 4p/kg ahead of GB prices.
  • Retail Sales. Latest figures to mid-June show that beef retail sales in Ireland are up 15% on last year, with mince up 21% and steak up 13.4%. For the 12 weeks to mid-June in the UK beef volumes are up 16% with steak up 27% and mince up 25%.
  • Official cattle prices reported to the EU Commission on July 19th. R3 Young Bulls c/kg excl vat; EU Average €3.49/kg, Ireland €3.59/kg, Germany €3.50/kg, France €3.65/kg, Spain €3.33/kg, Austria €3.52/kg Italy €3.53/kg Poland €2.78/kg. Steer Prices; Ireland €3.71/kg, UK €4.04/kg. EU Cow price €2.77/kg -0.35c/kg. Heifers €3.67/kg -0.18c/kg.
  • Live Exports. 3,290 cattle were exported in the week commencing 13/7/2020, 1,817 to EU (Except NI). Live exports for 2020 amount to 191,590 compared to 232,872 in 2019. 422 cattle from the Ireland were slaughtered in northern Ireland in the last week (282 prime cattle and 140 cows).
  • Expected to issue licenses for imports in the coming weeks.
  • Curzon Livestock, based out of Cork, are set to export a boat load of young bulls to Libya in the next week. Continental bulls and Friesian bulls.


  • Lamb Price. Lamb prices remained buoyant driven by demand for the Muslin festival of Eid. Factories paid €5.60 to €5.70/kg for lambs with some top prices of €5.85/kg including bonuses.
  • For 23/7/2020. Very strong demand for Eid Muslin festival. Factories paying €5.60/5.70/kg.  Top prices €5.85/kg paid to 21.5kgs. Ewes €2.80/3.00/kg.
  • 67,563 sheep were slaughtered at sheep export premises Week commencing 13/7/2020, compared to 60,260 in the same week of 2019. Sheep slaughtering’s for 2020 are 5.5 % up on 2019 at 1,509,592 head.
  • In the UK. Lamb price in UK remain strong, up 65p/kg on last year’s levels. The SQQ (Standard Quality Quotation) at the factories for week ending July 19 was £4.80/kg, which is equivalent to €5.56/kg incl vat.
  • Main New season Bord Bia Lamb TV promotions running from June 1st to 21st. Second wave from July 13th to 28th as part of EU Lamb Try it-Love it campaign.
  • IFA will continue to publish lamb prices twice weekly and all of the latest data is on

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