IFA National Livestock Chairperson, Angus Woods, has said cattle supplies are tighter this week and prices are stronger with agents reporting it much harder to get stock, and having to pay 5c/kg more. In addition, he said with the change in the weather along with the calving and lambing season, farmers are extremely busy.
The base price for steers has moved to €3.85/kg. Heifers are making €3.95 base, with some stock moving at higher prices this week. Bulls are making from €3.65/kg for Os, €3.80 for Rs and €3.90 for Us. Cows are making from €3.10 to €3.60/kg tops.
On the live export side developments with Purcell Bros are very positive and it is expected boats will begin to sail in late April and continue after that. The requirement is for young bulls under 12 months of age.
Mr Woods said IFA has been working with exporters and buyers as well as with the Department of Agriculture to get the Turkish trade moving again.
"IFA worked hard to get the live export market to Turkey opened last year and it is very positive that more than 19,000 cattle were exported between September and December last year by the Meath based export company Viastar, with significant price benefits being returned to cattle farmers in marts all across the country," he noted.
The IFA Livestock leader said the live export trade is essential for competition in the livestock sector and was never needed more at this time of rising cattle numbers. Turkey, pointed out Mr Woods, was a major live export market and offered a great opportunity for the Irish livestock sector.
Live cattle exports continue to rise and reached 8,302 head for week ending February 26. Calf exports continue to rise week-on-week and totaled 6,646 head while 857 adult cattle, 452 weanlings and 347 stores were also exported. The recent move to reduce charges on calf exports by €1,150 per load has been a major boost to the trade.
Looking at destinations, Mr Woods said 4,453 head went to the Netherlands, 2,099 to Spain, 786 to Northern Ireland, 388 to Great Britain, 272 to Belgium, 244 to Italy and 60 to Greece.