Tight supplies and strong market demand “have pushed cattle prices on” in the past few days, according to the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

Commenting on recent market conditions, IFA National Livestock Committee chairman Brendan Golden said:

“Factories are actively seeking cattle and base prices have moved on 5c/kg. 

Steers are making €4.15/kg to €4.20/kg, with heifers making €4.20-€4.30/kg in some factories with higher deals for larger and specialist lots..

Continuing, Golden claimed that shed cattle are gone through the system and poor grass growth will delay grass cattle, further tightening available supplies.

He said market conditions are strong as demand from the food service sector increases for the summer months and more reopening’s take place.

The chairman said imports to the EU market from Brazil are expected to be low this year as they focus on trying to fill the demand for beef in the Chinese market, adding:

“This creates a very positive market environment for Irish beef in the key EU market where demand is expected to increase from the food service sector for the summer months.

On another point on cattle prices, Golden noted that Bord Bia is predicting that supplies of finished cattle are to reduce up to 120,000 head this year.

Farmers should sell hard as factories struggle to match supplies with market demand, he concluded.