IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods has said cattle supplies are tighter this week and prices are stronger with agents reporting it much harder to get stock, and having to pay 5c/kg more. In addition, he said with the change in the weather along with the calving and lambing season, farmers are extremely busy.
Angus Woods said the base price for steers has moved to €3.85/kg. Heifers are making €3.95 base, with some stock moving at higher prices this week. Bulls are making from €3.65/kg for Os, €3.80 for Rs and €3.90 for Us. He said cows are making from €3.10 to €3.60/kg tops.
On the live export side, Angus Woods said the developments with Purcell Bros are very positive and this is already evident in marts across the country.
Angus Woods said it is expected boats will begin to sail in late April and continue after that. The requirement is for young bulls under 12 months of age.
IFA working hard to increase live exports
He said IFA has been working with exporters and buyers as well as with the Department of Agriculture to get the Turkish trade moving again. He said there is great interest in Irish cattle and he expects further contracts to be secured.
Angus Woods said IFA worked hard to get the live export market to Turkey opened last year and it is very positive that more than 19,000 cattle were exported between September and December last year by the Meath based export company Viastar, with significant price benefits being returned to cattle farmers in marts all across the country.
The IFA Livestock leader said the live export trade is essential for competition in the livestock sector and was never needed more at this time of rising cattle numbers.
Angus Woods said Turkey is a major live export market and a great opportunity for the Irish livestock sector. Turkey has an import requirement for 400,000 head of live cattle annually. In 2015, Turkey imported 380,000 head of cattle from Europe and South America. Turkey is a high volume destination, capable of paying good prices.
Angus Woods said live cattle exports continue to rise and reached 8,302 head for week ending February 26th. Calf exports continue to rise week-on-week and totalled 6,646 head while 857 adult cattle, 452 weanlings and 347 stores were also exported. He said the recent move to reduce charges on calf exports by €1,150 per load is a major boost to the trade.
Looking at destinations, Angus Woods said 4,453 head went to the Netherlands, 2,099 to Spain, 786 to Northern Ireland, 388 to Great Britain, 272 to Belgium, 244 to Italy and 60 to Greece.