IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said cattle supplies are tightening and the base price for both steers and heifers is rising.
He said factories are having to pay more to get cattle and they are prepared to do deals which include payment for transport and other bonuses.
On steers, he said €4.00/€4.05 is common and €4.07/€4.08 has been paid. On heifers he said, €4.15 is now the common base and prices of €4.20 have been paid.
He said prices for young bulls have also increased with U grades making €4.15 to €4.20 and R grades on €4.00 to €4.05. He said cows are making from €3.25 to €3.70.
Angus Woods said market demand has picked up and our exports to all main markets in continental Europe are stronger for the first quarter of this year. In addition, he said international exports are up 60% with Hong Kong, the US, Switzerland and the Philippines doing well. Sales of steak cuts are doing particularly well with strong demand and reports of prices up by €1/kg on this time last year.
On the live export trade, Angus Woods called for a diplomatic initiative at the highest level to conclude the negotiations on the opening of the live export trade to Turkey. He said there is a real urgency that there are no further delays in re-opening this important market.