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IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods has said cattle prices are rising strongly as numbers tighten and factories are finding it very difficult to get numbers, “The base price for heifers has moved up to €4.05/4.10/kg and top base prices of €4.15/4.20/kg have been paid this week.”

Angus Woods said factories are having to pay up to 10c/kg above the going prices in places in order to get stock. In addition, he said the quoted prices have increased all round. He said the base price for steers has moved up to €3.90/3.95/kg with reports of farmers not parting with stock at less than €4.00/kg.

In addition, the IFA livestock leader said R and U grade bulls are making €4.00/kg. On cows, he said there is a significant jump in prices with P grade cows making up to €3.30/kg.

Angus Woods said last week kill was down to 31,727 head of which 451 were calves.

The IFA Livestock leader said the officially recorded Department of Agriculture prices for week ending March 19th show that the average R=3= steer price was €3.94/kg and some factories paid an average of €4.00/kg for this grade. On heifers he said the average paid price was €4.06/kg and some plants paid an average of €4.10 for R=3= heifers.

Live exports

On live exports Angus Woods said the trade is going well with 9,622 head exported for the week ending March 19th. He said calves continue to dominate the trade with 8,635 head of calves exported while 548 head of adult cattle were exported and 236 and 203 head of weanlings and stores were exported respectively.

Looking at destinations, Angus Woods said the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium are driving the trade. 3,991 head of cattle were exported to the Netherlands, 2,975 to Spain, 1,105 to Belgium, 575 to Italy, 526 to Northern Ireland, 304 to France, 87 to Great Britain and 59 to Romania.

IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said cattle prices are on the up this week and factories are finding it very hard to get numbers with tighter supplies.

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IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said the beef trade is finely balanced. He said the full sale and clear out of the chills during the holiday period has left a strong demand for in-spec stock. In addition he said the strong demand for cows indicates in-spec prime cattle are scarce and factories need the numbers to meet market demand.

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IFA has called on the Government to make a strong case in Brussels for direct CAP support measures for farmers in the livestock and mushroom sectors seriously affected by the sharp decline of Sterling since the UK Brexit vote in June.

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IFA President Joe Healy has said the very serious competition issues raised in the independent report commissioned by the IFA on the proposed ABP/Slaney Meats deal cannot be ignored by the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed and the Government.

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