Cattle prices rising: ‘Factories telling agents to leave nothing behind’

Cattle prices are beginning to rise, with prices up 5c/kg to 10c/kg at most outlets this week, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Commenting on this, IFA National Livestock Committee chairman Brendan Golden said:

“Based on the major increase in price returns from our main export market in the UK, there is room for factories to increase prices a lot more.

While some factories continue to quote last week’s price, prices have moved on and factories are paying 5c to 10c/kg more, with the steer base price at €3.65/kg and heifers at €3.70-3.75/kg.

The chairman said factories are “very anxious for stock” and are telling agents to leave nothing behind.

“Most of the shed cattle are sold at this stage and the grass cattle are thriving well, with no pressure to sell because of the new burst of grass growth,” he added.

Golden said the Department of Agriculture official figures on cattle supplies from the AIMS data show that beef cattle numbers on farms on Friday, May 1, are down 93,000 head compared to last year.

“This means finished cattle numbers will be tighter over the coming weeks and months.”

The latest data from the UK shows that cattle prices have increased dramatically over the last two months of May and June, by the equivalent of almost 40c/kg.

“The latest R3 steer price for the UK for the week ended Saturday, June 27, is £3.67/kg, which is equivalent to €4.27/kg.

“This is 47c/kg above Irish prices and amounts to a price differential of €170/head,” Golden concluded.