IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said there is a significant change in the cattle trade with much tighter supplies, a positive shift in sterling and very strong Christmas demand. He said the base price for steers and heifers has increased, with €3.70/3.75 for steers and €3.80/3.85 for heifers.
Angus Woods said farmers are digging in and demanding more for their cattle, which in turn is leaving many factories with very tight numbers in lairages around the country.
He said the shift in sterling from 89p back to 86p/€ is worth an additional 15c/kg in returns from the British market. He pointed out that the GB price is £3.61/kg, which is equivalent to €4.41/kg. “With the positive change in sterling and the tighter supply, factories are in a strong position to pay more for cattle.”
The IFA Livestock Chairman said “Demand for beef in the UK remains very strong. We are in the high demand Christmas procurement period, and trade has picked up. It is simply not acceptable for processors to return an unviable price to our farmers at this time. Prices must be restored to viable levels; factories must demand significantly higher prices from their British retailer customers and pass these increases directly back to farmers”.
On live exports, Angus Woods said a number of ships are expected to be loaded and sail between now and Christmas. He said the Braham Express will arrive in Ireland today for loading.