Livestock Reports

Livestock Council Report October 2020

Market Report

  • Latest Beef Price Update: 05/10/2020. Steers €3.60/3.65. Heifers €3.60/3.70. Y bulls €3.50/3.80. Cows €3.00/3.50/kg. Prices steady.
  • Supplies. 33,753 cattle slaughtered this week, of which steers were 16,293 (48%), heifers 9,156 (27%), young bulls 1,290 (4%) and cows 6,359 (19%). Total YTD slaughter is 1,294,240 compared to 1,257,870 in 2019, a 2.9% increase.
  • Official Irish Prices. Week 39 (21/09/20 – 27/09/20) R3 steer €3.82/kg, Heifer R3 €3.94/kg. Y Bulls R3 €3.64/kg. Cows O3/R3 €3.12/3.32/kg.
  • GB Cattle Prices as reported by AHDB. The average GB R4L steer price for last week of £3.81/kg, equivalent to €4.40/kg incl. vat, down 2.8p/kg
  • EU Cattle Prices. W/e 26/9/20. R3 Y Bull, vat incl. equivalent, Italy €4.00/kg, Germany €3.83/kg, France €3.77/kg, Spain €3.51/kg, Poland €3.13
  • Beef Market Tracking:
  • Live Exports. 3,069 cattle were exported in the week commencing 21/9/2020. 1,388 to EU (Except NI). Live exports for 2020 amount to 222,456 compared to 256,653 in 2019.

50 million Beef Finishers Payment

  • Applications for BFP closed on Wednesday September 9th
  • 28,095 valid applications, 465,888 eligible animals. 548 applications under appeal.
  • Scheduled to be paid out in early November.

Beef Task Force update

  • Grant Thornton Studies
    • Competition Law Literary Review – Draft provided to Task Force meeting, published following observations and feedback
    • Independent Review of customer requirements – currently in drafting stage, expected to be completed in 3 to 4 weeks
    • Independent Review of price composition – awaiting further data, some delays due to Covid-19

IFA highlighted the need for urgency in completing all three studies. When all three studies are complete the Task Force will discuss them in detail

  • Market update
    • IFA raised the impact of BREXIT and the need for clarity for cattle finishers
    • IFA highlighted the need to ensure processing continued and the importance of maintaining good Covid-19 controls to avoid any disruption
  • PGI application
    • A revised application document was circulated to members. The revised document includes a number of changes in areas identified by IFA including; transport, distance from processing plant, flexibility on days grazing, times for silage/ hay making, assessment of colour and impact of this on eligibility. A proposed monitoring group structure for the PGI Brand was also presented, the proposal consists of 2 farmer representatives, 2 processor representatives, 1 DAFM and 1 Bord Bia Representative.
    • The Task Force agreed in Principle to submitting a PGI application with issues remaining to be resolved in advance of the next Task Force meeting scheduled for the 12th
    • The changes achieved address some of the issues raised by IFA however further clarity is required in particular in relation to the assessment of the colour, the point at which the animal is deemed to meet the PGI standard and need for including a reference to the 2-hour travel time. The proposed monitoring group must have more farmer representation and clarity is required to ensure how ownership/control of the brand rests with farmers. The PGI proposal does not include all animals while the Grass Fed Standard does, Young Bulls and P grade Steers and Heifers are not included or cows below O+ confirmation. In addition, fat scores below 2+ are not eligible for steers, heifers or cows and above 4+ for steers and heifers. The PGI should seek to include as many animals as possible. The issue of NI access to the brand must be resolved.
  • Suckler Brand
    • Bord Bia have committed €1m a year in funding for each of the next 3 years to develop a brand specific for suckler beef, build awareness and consumer demand for the brand even if the application for EU Funding is unsuccessful.
    • IFA acknowledge the commitment on funding as a good starting point in developing a brand that will recognize the additional benefits of beef derived from the suckler herd.
    • Key issues to be clarified include, ownership/control of the brand and how the brand will be supplemented/interact with the PGI status.
    • It is important the PGI and the suckler brand are not competing identities and that the suckler brand is supported by the PGI standard.

Activity since last Council

  • Livestock Management Committee Meeting.
  • Livestock Committee Meeting.
  • Meeting with MII on beef price.
  • Meeting with DAFM and Bord Bia on PGI.
  • Beef Taskforce Meeting.
  • Meeting with Ulster Farmers Union.
  • Campaign encouraging farmers to apply for Beef Finishers Payment.
  • Step-by-step guide and dedicated hub to aid farmers in BFP application.
  • Raised awareness of finished cattle sales options in marts.

Upcoming Issues

  • PGI application
  • Development of Suckler Brand
  • Cattle price.
  • DAFM Charter of Rights meeting.
  • Highlighting that BEEP-S weights and other optional measures must be submitted to ICBF by the 1st
  • EU Beef and Sheep update: Weekly report outlining market, main issues and action for distribution on website, app and via WhatsApp groups.
ChairBrendan Golden
Policy ExecutiveAnn Daly
Senior Policy ExecutiveTomas Bourke

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