IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said cattle prices are continuing to drive forward with the base price for steers and heifers at €4.10 and €4.20/kg.
He said, based on the week-on-week increase in the UK price over the last five weeks, which is now equivalent to €4.50/kg, the factories have further room to drive on the Irish price. He said farmers who have fed cattle indoors to this stage in the year need a significant price premium.
Angus Woods said the official Department of Agriculture reported prices for week ending May 7th show that the average R3 steer price was €4.19/kg and the average R3 heifer price was €4.31/kg. Young bulls are making €4.19 for Us, €4.11 for Rs, and €3.91/kg for O grades. He said Cows are also a good trade with €3.68/kg for Rs, €3.47 for Os and €3.41/kg for P+ grades.
Angus Woods said the latest weekly kill was 29,207 head, which reflects the tight supply situation. He said to date this year the kill is up 11,868 on last year.
On live exports, Angus Woods said the trade remains buoyant with total live exports reaching over 105,000 head. This is an increase of over 31,000 head on last year and reflects a 42% increase.
Angus Woods said this is due mainly to a strong calf export trade to the EU as a result of IFA work in reducing charges on exports. In addition, he said the live export trade is strongly boosted by exports to Turkey where he said two ships have already sailed and another is due to load again next week.