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IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy said a lot of lambs were sold over the last few weeks, with 74,535 sold in the past week alone. He said the lamb kill is running 14% ahead of last year or up 75,000.

“This should mean supplies will be tighter in the coming weeks, and this should help steady the trade.”

Sean Dennehy said with the commencement of the Muslim Eid festival this weekend; factories need to act responsibly on price and not undermine the market in any way.

“Some plants which are chalking down their quotes are undermining the trade.”

The IFA Sheep Chairman said farmers should continue to select lambs as they become fit, keep moving and bargain hard on price and weight. He said factories were paying up to 21.5kgs with some deals to 22kgs in places.

“Positive price returns will help farmers to continue to move lambs as they become fit.”

“I think farmers that have gone through their lambs and taken two or three pulls already, have large numbers moved, and they will want to see the trade settle before they move again.”

Sean Dennehy said the mart trade has been solid with a buoyant business for store lambs and the positive opening of the breeding sales.

CAP/MFF Outcome

  • EU heads of state, including Taoiseach Michael Martin agreed an EU Budget for the next 7 years (2021 to 2027) in Brussels earlier this week. As well as a recovery package for the EU in response to the Covid-19 crisis, this plan also agreed the CAP Budget and a Brexit Adjustment Reserve of €5bn. The overall value of the Package was €1.8 trillion.
  • The final outcome is slightly better than the original Commission proposals At constant prices (adjusted for inflation) the CAP Budget was reduced from €382.8bn in 2014/2020 period to €243.9bn in 2021/2027 period, a reduction of 10.1%. In current prices (excluding inflation) the CAP Budget was maintained or slightly increased.
  • While the detailed breakdown of the CAP Budget figures for each individual country have yet to be provided by the Commission, the Taoiseach outlined to the Dail that the CAP Budget for Ireland had increased by €50m from €10.68bn (2014-2020) to €10.73bn (2021-2027) at current prices. However, Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary has indicated that the reduced budget will lead to a 3% reduction in BPS (Basic payment Scheme) payments from 2021 onwards.
  • Member states have the opportunity of increasing the level of National co-financing under CAP Pillar II measures. The level of co-financing is a national decision and has been set at a standard 43% EU and 57% national funding. This is a major change compared to the last CAP programming period, when in Irelands case the level of co-financing was 54% EU and 46% national.
  • If the Irish Government co-finance at the national rate of 57%, it could leave a 7-year RDP worth €5.241bn (2021-2027) compared to €4.1bn in the last period (2014-2020).
  • The debate will now move quickly to the level of National co-financing the Irish Government is prepared to provide, which will be critical in terms of financing future farm schemes and farm incomes.
  • IFA has set a target that Direct Payments (both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2), should increase from the current annual level of €1.8bn to €2bn in the next CAP post 2020.

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Cattle Prices Rising

  • Cattle prices are continuing to rise driven by strong demand, tighter supplies, an abundance of grass and excellent thrive. Factories are paying from €3.70/kg to €3.80/kg base price, with deals on haulage, weight, conformation and fats.
  • Based on the strong prices in our main export market in the UK, which are the equivalent of €4.24/kg, factories can afford to increase prices further.
  • Supplies have tightened and AIMs data shows that there is a reduction of 93,000 in the number of forward cattle on farms compared to last year.

Lamb Prices Rising

  • Strong market driven demand for the EID Muslin festival and a reduction in New Zealand imports is driving the lamb price.
  • Factories are paying €5.65/kg to €5.75/kg with top prices incl bonuses of €5.90/kg paid over the last week. These prices are about 70c/kg ahead of last year.
  • UK lamb prices are also rising at £4.83/kg or the equivalent of €5.56/kg incl vat for w/e July 12th. These prices are 70p/kg ahead of last year.

EU Budget, CAP and MFF

  • EU heads of state, including the new Taoiseach Micheal Martin are in Brussels this weekend to try and negotiate agreement on the next MFF (Multi-lateral Financial Framework) for the EU for 2020-2027.
  • These negotiations are critical for the CAP Budget, EU Green Deal, Covid-19 EU Recovery Plan and Brexit contingency funding.
  • IFA has been campaigning for an increase in the overall CAP budget that would cover inflation and the extra asks on farmers. IFA has made it clear that there can be no cuts for farmer payments.

€50m Beef Finishers Pandemic Payment

  • IFA has made a detailed submission to the Department of Agriculture on the allocation of the €50m Beef Finishers Scheme, secured by the Association following an intensive lobby from April to June.
  • IFA is clear that the payment should be €100 per animal and targeted to beef finishers that incurred the highest losses in terms of price cuts/market disturbance and the highest feeding costs.

Changes to the Bord Bia Grass fed

  • Following further consultation with the IFA over recent weeks, Bord Bia has agreed to the following changes to the grass fed standard;
  • To adapt the scope of the grass fed standard to accommodate young bull beef. This change means young bull beef will now be eligible to be included in the grass fed standard, along with steers, heifers and cows.
  • To provide that the first nine months of an animal’s life (including young bulls) will be deemed as grass fed regardless of whether they were on QA (Quality Assured) or non-QA farm(s).
  • To treat young bulls the same as other animal categories with their qualification as grass fed being dependent on meeting the criteria of the standard concerning the proportion of grass in the diet and grazing days.

Lamb Imports.

  • IFA has written to the Minister for Agriculture about live lamb imports demanding that the Department of Agriculture publish the volumes and origin of all lamb imports on a weekly basis. IFA also met with DAFM senior officials on the issue.

Beef

  • Latest Beef price update. 16/7/2020. Steer base €3.70/3.75/kg. Heifers €3.70/3.80/kg. Young Bulls R/U €3.70/3.80kg. Cows €2.90/3.40/kg.
  • Supplies. 35,731 cattle slaughtered last week, July 12th, of which steers were 13,546 (38%), heifers 9,437 (26%), young bulls 2,326 (6%) and cows 9,524 (27%). Total YTD slaughter is 914,628 compared to 960,883 in 2019, a 4.8% decrease.
  • Official Prices. Irish R3 steer prices for w/e June 12th was €3.86/kg incl vat. Heifers R3 €3.8p/kg. Y Bulls O/R/U €3.55/€3.75/€3.92/kg. Cows P/O/R €2.91/3.01/€3.23/kg.
  • UK cattle prices. AHBD report that UK cattle prices remain stable following strong price increase in recent weeks. The UK R3 steer price for week ending July 12th was at £3.68/kg, equivalent to €4.24/kg incl vat. @ an exchange rate of 91.5p/€.
  • Official cattle prices reported to the EU Commission on July 12th. R3 Young Bulls c/kg excl vat; EU Average €3.49/kg, Ireland €3.56/kg, Germany €3.49/kg, France €3.65/kg, Spain €3.45/kg, Austria €3.46/kg Italy €3.79/kg Poland €2.78/kg. Steer Prices; Ireland €3.66/kg, UK €4.02/kg. EU Cow price €2.78/kg +1.57c/kg. Heifers €3.67/kg +4.38c/kg.
  • Live Exports. 4,353 cattle were exported in the week commencing 6/7/2020, 2,835 to EU (Except NI). Live exports for 2020 amount to 188,300 compared to 231,074 in 2019. Total of 136,101 calves exported this year. Strong increase in live exports to Northern Ireland at 30,277 to date this year, compared to 17,926 in 2019.
  • In a positive move on live exports, the Turkish Ministry has recently announced that the live imports of weanling cattle are set to resume in the coming weeks.
  • Curzon Livestock, based out of Cork, are set to export a boat load of young bulls to Libya in the next 10 days. Continental bulls and Friesian bulls.
  • Keep up to date on all IFA work and prices on ifa.ie/sectors/cattle

 Sheep

  • Lamb Price. For 16/7/2020. Very strong demand for Eid Muslin festival. Factories paying €5.60/5.75/kg.  Top prices €5.90/kg paid to 21.5kgs. Ewes €2.80/2.90/kg.
  • 64,396 sheep were slaughtered at sheep export premises the week ending 12/7/2020, compared to 61,028 in the same week of 2019. Sheep slaughtering’s for 2020 are up 71,429 or 5% up on 2019 at 1,442,029 head.
  • Select and Sell. In selling lambs, select carefully and avoid overweight and under finished lambs. The advice is as always – move lambs as they become fit.
  • In the UK. Lamb price in UK remains very strong, up 70p/kg on last year’s levels. The SQQ (Standard Quality Quotation) at the factories for week ending July 12 was £4.83/kg, which is equivalent to €5.56/kg incl vat.
  • Main New season Bord Bia Lamb TV promotions running from June 1st to 21st. Second wave from July 13th to 28th as part of EU Lamb Try it-Love it campaign.
  • Quality Assurance. IFA has written to Bord Bia requesting a stakeholders meeting to advance Quality assurance on the sheep meat side. IFA has consistently called on factories to increase the QA bonus to 30c/kg in order to increase the number of sheep farmers in the Quality assurance scheme from 12,000.
  • Meeting with Department of Agriculture. IFA recently met with senior officials in the Department of Agriculture to discuss sheep policy issues including the IFA proposal on €30 per ewe, the Sheep welfare Scheme, CAP, Eco schemes, Environmental schemes, Brexit, Trade deals and Lamb imports.
  • IFA will continue to publish lamb prices twice weekly and all of the latest data is on ifa.ie

IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy said lamb prices moved up sharply this week, driven by rising demand for the significant Muslim festival of Eid Al Adha, which begins on July 30th.

 

He said to get the numbers they need; some factories have had to increase their base price by as much as 20c/kg, with top prices including bonuses reaching €5.90/kg.

 

He said all factories have increased quoted prices and paid prices this week to get lambs.

“Prices are ranging from €5.65/kg to €5.75/kg, with top prices of €5.90/kg including bonuses paid. Farmers are also negotiating on weights up to 21.5kgs.”

 

He said factories are not able to get lambs at the lower quoted prices and are having to pay 30c to 35c/kg over quotes to get lambs.

 

Sean Dennehy said some factories are talking to suppliers and groups trying to pin down numbers and supplies right up to early August to be able to service the demand for Eid.

 

“Substantially lower volumes of New Zealand imports into the UK and across the EU has left the market short.”

New Zealand is reporting that their EU imports were down 28% in April and 15% in June compared to 2019 levels.

 

Sean Dennehy said this is a demand-led market lift as the weekly kills are consistently exceeding last year’s numbers.

He said, “Last week kill was 64,386, and to date this year we are 71,420 ahead of last year of which 52,535 are spring lambs”.

 

The IFA Sheep Chairman said the store trade is also robust in the marts with 35kg lambs making €85. Also, the breeding sales have got off to a flying start.

“Good grass growth is driving farmer demand and store lambs at the marts are trading solidly. This is critical as factory buyers have to pay premium prices at mart sales to get the numbers they need.”

 

Ewes are making €2.65 to €2.80/kg.

 

IFA National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy said lamb prices are rising, driven by substantial demand for the significant Muslin festival of Eid Al Adha, which begins on July 30th.

He said factories have increased quoted prices and paid prices this week to get lambs.

“Prices are ranging from €5.65/kg to €5.75/kg, with top prices of €5.80/kg paid. Farmers are also negotiating on weights up to 21.5kgs.”

He said factories are not able to get lambs at the lower quoted prices and are having to pay 30c to 35c/kg over quotes to get lambs.

Sean Dennehy said some factories are talking to suppliers and groups trying to pin down numbers and supplies right up to early August to be able to service the demand for Eid.

“Also, the lower volume of New Zealand imports in the UK and across the EU has left the market short.”

The IFA Sheep Chairman said the store trade is also robust in the marts with 35kg lambs making €85.

“Good grass growth is driving farmer demand.”

Ewes are making €2.65 to €2.80/kg.


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