IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns has said the cattle trade remains strong with factories paying a base of €4.30 for steers and €4.40 for heifers and top-ups to both base prices ranging from 3c to 5c/kg extra in places to get numbers.
He said factories are having to pay up to 10c/kg over quoted prices to get very tight supplies. “Some farmers are reporting of factory agents and procurement managers ringing them, offering 10ckg more for immediate supply on the day or the next morning delivery. Flat prices of €4.50/kg for heifers have been paid this week.”
Henry Burns said the change in the strength of sterling to 70p against the Euro lifts Irish returns from the UK market considerably. In addition, he said UK prices are continuing to increase, up another 5p/kg last week and at £3.61/kg for R3 steers, they are now equivalent to €5.42/kg incl vat. He pointed out that at a UK price of £3.61/kg for R3, the recent move on the exchange rate from 72p to 70p on the €uro changes returns from €5.27 to €5.42, an increase of 15.5c/kg.
The IFA Livestock leader pointed out that the official prices from the Department of Agriculture continue to show increases with R3 steers at €4.38/kg for week ending July 19th and heifers at €4.50/kg. Official bull prices are at €4.16/kg for Os, €4.37/kg for Rs and €4.50/kg for Us. Henry Burns pointed that cow price is ranging from €3.75/kg for P+ to €3.80 for Os, €4.00 for Rs and €4.15 for U grades.
On supplies, Henry Burns said Bord Bia has highlighted the fact that finished cattle supplies will remain very scarce for the next 12 months, with AIMS data from June 1st 2015 showing that the number of cattle in the 12 to 36 month age category are back 100,000 head compared to 2014 levels. In addition, this data also shows that calf registrations for 2015 are up 116,000 head, with most of the increase occurring in Angus and Hereford calves from the dairy herd.
Henry Burns said it is clear from the Bord Bia figures, that cattle supplies at the factories will remain tight for at least the next 12 months and the supply situation in our main export market in the UK is somewhat similar. In addition, he said the strength of sterling and price returns from the UK continue to be very positive.