Cattle prices drive on as supplies tighten

Farming correspondent

Reporter:

Farming correspondent

Reopening of Egypt beef trade welcomed amid calls for more markets

IFA National Livestock Chairperson, Angus Woods, has reported cattle prices are rising this week with most plants increasing the base prices by 5c/kg to get numbers. He said the base price for steers has moved on to €3.85 for steers and €3.95/kg for heifers.

Tighter numbers and the change in the weather have left agents and factories hunting for finished stock, said the farming representative. He said feeders needed to dig in hard and insist on further price increases, which are desperately needed to lift winter finishing out of loss making territory.

Young bulls are making from €3.90/3.95/kg for Us, €3.80/3.85 for Rs and €3.65 for O grade stock. A lot of farmers selling bulls are on a flat price of €3.90/kg this week for R and U grades and under 16 month old bulls are being sold on the QPS at a base of €3.85.

Cows are making €3.55/3.60 for top quality U grades, €3.40/3.45 for R grades, €3.20 for Os and €3.10 for P+.

Live exports

Calf and weanling buyers are very active with live exports. For week ending March 5, live exports reached 9,925 head. Calf exports continue to rise week on week and totaled 8,478 head while 882 adult cattle, 302 weanlings and 263 stores were also exported.

Looking at destinations, Mr Woods said 4,297 head of cattle went to the Netherlands, 3,086 to Spain, 893 to Northern Ireland, 833 to Belgium, 625 to Italy, 129 to Great Britain and 62 to Greece.