The cattle trade is continuing to drive forward with the base price for steers at €4.00/kg and heifers at €4.10/kg, according to the IFA’s National Livestock Chairman, Angus Woods.

He said €4.05/4.10 as a base for steers and €4.15/4.20 as a base for steers and heifers have also being paid in places. He also said that there is strong demand for cattle from the factories.

Young bulls are making €4.00 plus flat for R and U grades, he added.

He said cows have also moved up – with O grades on €3.35 and R grades on €3.50/kg. He said feeders selling numbers of cows are securing higher prices and flat-price deals.

The IFA’s National Livestock Chairman said the live export trade is continuing to drive on with new business to Algeria. He said the latest figures show that exports are up 42% or 22,000 head on last year.

Woods said exports for the week ending April 2 totalled 9,594 head.

Calves continue to seasonally dominate exports, accounting for over 80% of the trade with 7,941 head of calves exported – while 730 weanlings, 481 stores and 442 adult cattle were exported.

“The Netherlands and Spain took the largest numbers. 3,725 head of cattle were exported to the Netherlands (all calves), 3,113 to Spain, 773 to Turkey, 559 to Belgium, 539 to Italy, 482 to Northern Ireland, 302 to France, 62 to Greece and 39 to Britain.

Meanwhile, Woods also welcomed the announcement from the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed on the re-opening of the Beef Data and Genomics Scheme (BDGP) and has encouraged suckler farmers to apply.

Woods noted that the scheme will open from April 19, with a closing date of May 8. He said all suckler farmers who have not applied under the existing BDGP1 scheme are eligible to apply, including new entrants.

He said it is important that suckler farmers apply as soon as possible and before the closing date, in order to ensure that they can get paid before year-end.