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Strong Beef Market Should be Reflected in Higher Cattle Prices, Says IFA

25 October 2017

IRELAND - IFA President Joe Healy said market demand for beef is very strong across Ireland's main export markets in the UK and Continental Europe and this must be reflected in higher prices on offer from the factories.

He said the Christmas trade is kicking in at this stage and factories need the stock. He said farmers are not parting with cattle at the lower quoted prices on offer from some factories and are insisting and getting a base price of €3.75/kg for steers and €3.85/kg for heifers.

Mr Healy said across Ireland's main Continental EU beef markets, cattle prices are up 30 cent/kg since this time last year, with very strong demand for manufacturing beef evident in stronger cull cow prices. In Britain, ireland's largest export market, R3 steer prices are £3.76/kg, equivalent to €4.45/kg including VAT.

The IFA President said large volumes of cattle have already been killed and exported live this year. The kill is already up 72,000 head, 38,000 additional young bulls have been shipped to Turkey in the last 12 months and carcase weights are an average of 6kgs per head lower, accounting for the equivalent of another 30,000 head of cattle. He said all of these disposals, which amount to 140,000 head, have eaten well into any extra numbers and will leave supplies much tighter than originally anticipated.

Angus Woods said the factories were offering €3.80/kg for R grade bulls and €3.90/3.95 for U grades. He said cow prices are a strong trade with €3.60 for U grades, €3.50 for R grades, €3.30 for O grades and €3.20 for P grades.

The IFA livestock leader said the most recent Department of Agriculture official paid prices at the factories for week ending 15 October show that the average R=3= steer price was €3.85/kg, heifers were an average of €3.96kg, young bulls U/R/Os were at €4.01/3.83/3.64/kg and cows were making U/R/O/P+ €3.63/3.50/3.33/3.22/kg.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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