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Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a fifth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the company in 2015.
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Beef prices move up 5c/kg as numbers ‘extremely tight’

According to IFA national livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, beef prices have strengthened a further 5c/kg as the weekend approaches.

He reported that a base price of €4.00/kg is “more freely available for heifers” and €3.95/kg for steers, with “higher prices” available for larger lots.

Golden said the reopening of the foodservice sector in the UK next week will increase demand for beef and is a key market outlet for Irish beef.

He highlighted the main market driver currently is the UK market, as the EU Young Bull price is lagging 9c/kg behind Ireland’s steer price.

“Numbers remain extremely tight both in the UK and Ireland, and the opening of additional outlets for beef sales must translate into meaningful price increases for beef farmers,” he said.

Cull cow and young bull prices

The IFA livestock chairman said demand for cull cows is strong, with P grades starting at €3.20/kg and moving upwards depending on numbers. According to Golden, good quality beef-bred cows are making up to €3.70/kg in some factories.

Young bulls are making €3.90 to €4.00/kg for R/U grades.

Golden said factory agents are competing strongly in marts for finished cattle, and prices are “easily comparing to what factories are offering some farmers”.

National beef kill

According to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s database, the national beef kill for the week commencing March 29th, 2021, stood at 35,601 (2,828 calves).

Breakdown for the week in question:

  • Young bulls: 2,245;
  • Bulls: 602;
  • Steers: 11,696;
  • Cows: 6,185;
  • Heifers: 9,525.

Total:

  • Young bulls: 39,936;
  • Bulls: 5,463;
  • Steers: 14,7224;
  • Cows: 80,449;
  • Heifers: 126,580.

The cumulative beef kill for the year to date (excluding this week’s throughput), stands at 418,582 head, compared to 479,235.

Sheep prices

Meanwhile, prices for hoggets, lambs and cull ewes and increasing week-on-week, according to the farm group’s sheep chairman, Sean Dennehy.

He said the combination of the start of Ramadan next Monday and supermarket demand is driving the trade.

Dennehy reported that hoggets are “freely making” €7.70/kg, with higher deals available for larger lots.

According to the IFA representative, spring lamb is making €8.20/kg, with deals available for groups and larger lots. He said the cull ewe trade is strong, with factories paying prices of €3.50/kg.

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