IFA National Livestock Chairperson, Angus Woods, said the cattle trade is stronger again this week with prices moving ahead by 5c to 10c/kg, depending on location and also on the category of livestock.
He said the base price for steers has now moved up to €4.05/4.10/kg and for heifers to €4.15/4.20/kg. He said the higher prices of €4.10 and €4.20 appear to be more prevalent in the northern, eastern and western parts of the country.
Mr Woods said cow prices have also increased strongly this week, with some grades up 10c/kg on last week. He said some quality R grade cows are making up to €3.85/kg, with O grades as high as €3.60/kg and P grades on €3.45/kg in places. Young Bull have also increased in price with €4.10/kg available for R grades and €4.20 plus paid for U grades.
At an EU Commission Beef Meeting he chaired in Brussels this week, Angus Woods said there was a more positive tone to prospects for the trade for 2018. The EU Commission is forecasting an increase in consumption of 0.4% and only a very small rise in production of 0.13%. He said the Commission is also forecasting that EU prime beef prices should rise by 1.3% and cow prices look set to increase by 3.83% in 2018. He said all the figures point to a strong recovery and growth in beef consumption across the EU markets with overall EU imports up and exports down for the first two months of 2018.