IFA National Livestock Chairman Henry Burns said this weekend has signaled the last of the grass cattle and factories need to move on prices to reflect the higher costs of shed cattle and strong returns from the marketplace.
He said, in general the base price for steers is €3.90 with some prices of €3.95/kg and top prices of €4.00. On heifers, he said the general base price is €4.00 with some prices of €4.05 and top prices of €4.10/kg.
Henry Burns said the latest Department of Agriculture official reported prices for week ending November 1st show prices rising for steers, heifers and young bulls. Steer prices are up 2-3c/kg from the previous week with the average R=3= price at €3.99/kg. Heifer prices are also up with the average R=3= price at €4.13/kg. Young bull prices are also rising with U3 grades at €4.10/kg and R3 grades at €4.01/kg. He said cow prices on average are at €3.72 for Us, €3.58 for Rs and €3.44 for Os with P+ grades at €3.38/kg.
The IFA Livestock leader said the factories are now processing for the high demand Christmas kill and in a position to increase prices based on strong returns from the UK market. He said strong cattle prices in the UK, coupled with a very strong Sterling is giving the factories a very strong return from our main export market. He said R3 grade steers in the British market are making £3.51/kg, which is the equivalent of €5.12/kg incl. vat. He said the strength of our main export market must be reflected in higher cattle prices in Ireland.
On supplies, Henry Burns said the weekly kill remains very tight at 30,000 head. He said this tightness in supply is set to continue as the Department AIMS data shows that there is a reduction of 70,000 head in the number of finished cattle (24 to 36 month category) in the system compared to last year.
The IFA National Livestock Chairman said IFA had written to Minister Coveney requesting a meeting of the Beef Forum to address a range of issues which need to be advanced and are of critical importance to the beef and livestock sector.