Livestock Reports

Livestock Council Report November 2021

Market Report

  • Beef Price: Steers are generally making €4.20 to €4.30/kg. Heifers are making €4.25 to €4.35/kg with higher deals for larger lots and increased breed bonuses paid. Young Bulls are ranging from €4.15 to €4.30/kg for R/U grades. Cows are making €3.50 to €4.00/kg.
  • DAFM Reported Prices w/e 31/10/2021: R3 steer prices for the last week remained equal to the previous week at €4.39/kg, R3 heifer prices also showed no change at €4.44/kg. R3 young bull prices dropped by 2c to €4.21/kg. P+3 grade cows were back 3c/kg to €3.54/kg, O3 grades were back 4c/kg to €3.68/kg, R3 grades were back 4c/kg to €3.92/kg.
  • Beef Market Tracking: The latest available data shows the Prime Irish Composite Price for w/e October 30th 2021 to be at by €4.10/kg with the Export Benchmark Price at €4.19/kg.
  • GB Cattle Prices as reported by AHDB: Prices in GB for R3 steers increased slightly by 1p/kg in the latest week bringing the price to £4.18/kg

Latest DAFM Kill figures:

Supply Figures as Reported by DAFM – Week 44 (01.11.2021)

AnimalNumberChange prev. wk.% of totalYTDYTD Change
Y Bulls2256▲8346%105937▼-11,139 
Veal-V10▼-17 0%20886▼-5,913 
  • Supplies: Supplies are currently over 70,000 below last year’s levels to-date. Bord Bia predict the total throughput for the year to be 110,000 below 2021 levels, pointing towards very tight supplies for the remainder of the year with up to 40,000 less cattle available to factories between now and end of the year compared to 2021. UK supplies are running 4.5% below 2021 levels a trend that is predicated to continue for the remainder of the year.
  • Market Conditions: Market conditions are favorable for Irish beef. Good demand and consistently strengthening prices in our key export markets are underpinning the trade. Demand for beef will increase over the coming weeks as factories fill orders for the lucrative Christmas trade. Market conditions and tight supplies justify price increases. 

Live Exports

  • For the week ending October 23rd, live cattle exports reached 5,966 head.
  • For the first 43 weeks of 2021, the number of animals exported is running 5.3% behind of the same period for 2020, with a total of 226,437 head of cattle exported so far in 2021. 
  • The Irish calf exports YTD figure sits at 139,033 which is 1.6% behind the same period in 2020.
  • The movement of cattle to Northern Ireland has continued to perform strongly with over 25% of an increase on the 2020 figures. 

Chinese Market

IFA have called on the Minister for Agriculture and Government to redouble their efforts to secure an immediate return of Irish beef to the Chinese market following the announcement that Ireland has fulfilled the criteria to attained official status from the OIE of negligible risk status for BSE.


  • The Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue must honour the commitment given to IFA at the recent mart meetings that he will pay out on every suckler cow that’s applied for in the next CAP in the proposed new suckler scheme.
  • Following IFA’s rejection of the limit on suckler cows originally proposed in the new sucker cow scheme this requirement has been removed from the latest proposals
  • Compulsory participation in the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme must be removed from the suckler cow scheme requirements
  • Payment rates of €150 on the first 10 cows and €120 on all remaining cows in a herd are a significant increase from the current scheme, bringing the average payment up from €85 to €135 per cow for a 25-cow herd, which is the average size of suckler herds currently in the scheme.
  • IFA set out clear demands for a €300 suckler cow payment and the proposed scheme must be enhanced and commitments on the funding for the National scheme (currently BEEPs) must be forthcoming to bring the payment levels to €300 per suckler cow
  • IFA is seeking a €100/animal payment for cattle rearing and finishing farmers to ensure CAP monies directly support Irish beef farmers for producing beef to the highest welfare and environmental standards in the world and to off set the impact of convergence, CRISS and Eco Schemes on some of our most productive farms who depend most on direct payments for family farm income (FFI)
  • These farms are integral to the beef production systems in Ireland, and the proposed Strategic Plans must include a scheme that delivers €100/animal payment for farmers who rear and finish cattle.
  • Eco schemes must be developed that provide farmers with the opportunity to claim back all of the monies taken from their basic payments
  • The Eco scheme measures must be practical to implement, be aligned to current good practice on farms, add value to the farm production and cannot increase costs for farmers.


DAFM have confirmed that payments will issue in mid-December. 


  • A six-month extension to the scheme was granted to give farmers more time to meet the 5% reduction. This offered participants the option to choose the reference period 1st January to 31st December 2021. Applicants had from April to June to apply to avail of the extended period.
  • However, if applicants met the reduction requirement by the end of June for the original reference period this was automatically accepted as compliance.
  • IFA advised that all farmers in the scheme apply for the extension.
  • DAFM have provided the following updated figures:
    • 17,800 met the requirement and are now finished with the scheme
    • 11,000 opted for the extension and still need to meet the reduction
    • 3,600 face a penalty
  • IFA have sought the repayment of the monies taken from farmers ANC payments and the provision of an extended period for repayment with no interest charges
  • IFA have sought the recognition of a TB breakdown during the course of the reference period as Force Majeure and the 5% requirement be removed. 
  • All TB restricted farms have their reduction target reduced proportionally to the period of restriction for the farm 
  • IFA have sought a reduction in the sanctions for participants who fall short of the 5% requirement but have recorded a reduction in their herd.
  • IFA are seeking the provision of the better of the two references periods for farmers who fail to meet the 5% reduction by the end of December.

Beef Carcase Classification

IFA met with DAFM in relation to the upgrading of the mechanical classification technologies which is currently being rolled out in factories across the country. 

Climate Action Plan

  • The sequestration on livestock farms must be fully accounted for. 
  • The livestock sector must be provided with the financial supports necessary to reflect our climate ambition.

Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR)

The BAR must be used to off set the losses beef finishers experienced in Spring 2021.

Electronic Payments from factories

  • IFA have met MII and sought the provision of electronic payments to farmers for cattle (ETF).

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