Cattle prices on the increase this week

Cattle prices are increasing again this week, with reports of €4.10 up to €4.20 (base) offered for steers and €4.20 to €4.30 offered for heifers according to IFA National Livestock Chairman, Angus Woods.

Woods said that a €4.15 base has been paid for bulls and prices of €4.10 / 4.20 for R/U grades are common. He added that finished cattle supplies have tightened dramatically in the last fortnight, and factories are rushing to get sufficient supplies to meet strong market demand.

The IFA Livestock Chairman said the UK beef price has risen again by £0.03/kg in the last week, adding that this is the sixth successive week of price rises. UK prices are currently £0.41/kg above last year’s levels.

Current UK prices are £3.62/kg, which equates to €4.43/kg including VAT. “This positive momentum in our largest export market provides significant scope for factories to lift prices further here,” Woods said.

The official Department of Agriculture reported prices, for the week ending May 7, show that the average R3 steer price was €4.19/kg and the average R3 heifer price was €4.31/kg.

Young bulls are getting €4.19 for Us, €4.11 for Rs and €3.91/kg for O grades. Woods said cows are a good trade also, with €3.68/kg for Rs, €3.47/kg for Os and €3.41/kg for P+ grades.

Regarding live exports, the trade remains buoyant with overall live exports reaching more than 105,000 head, Woods said. This is an increase of over 31,000 head on 2016 and reflects an increase of 42%.

He said this is mainly due to a strong calf export trade to the EU “as a result of IFA work in reducing charges on exports”. As well as this, he said the live export trade is boosted strongly by the exports to Turkey where he said two ships have already sailed and another is due to load again next week.

Woods said the ‘Express 1’ boat is loading for Libya this week, with another boat on the way to Ireland to load for Turkey.