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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-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 firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Beef trade: Up to €4.00/kg for heifers

An update on beef prices in Ireland April 2021:

According to IFA national livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, beef prices continue to edge upwards but are not closing the 11c/kg Prime Export Benchmark price gap.

He reported that factories are paying €3.90/kg for steers and €4.00/kg for heifers this week, with “higher deals for larger and specialist lots”.

Meanwhile, he said cows are making from €3.20/kg for P grades with up to €3.70/kg at the top-end for good quality R and U grading cows.

He highlighted the key driver in the marketplace at the moment is the UK as EU R3 Young Bull prices lag behind Ireland’s current price by 9c/kg.

Beef prices April 2021

He commented that the phased re-opening of the UK’s foodservice sector will increase demand for Irish beef and must translate into higher beef prices.

“The foodservice sector in the UK is scheduled for full re-opening in May. This will increase demand for beef in the coming weeks and must return meaningful beef price increases,” he said.

€300/head price gap

Fine Gael’s Joe O’Reilly shed light on the differential in beef price returns in the north and south of Ireland during a Seanad debate recently.

“A beef farmer in Ireland is getting €300 less than a beef farmer in the UK for the equivalent animal.”

“There is now a kind of nationalism in the UK associated with the eating of UK beef. It is a concern. In the context of Brexit solidarity funding, etc., our beef farmers will need support.”

“Our dairy farmers will also need protection to ensure they do not suffer later on. It is important in the context that we protect our farmers.” Senator O’Reilly concluded.

He said the growth in trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland in the first quarter of the year is a “great” by-product of Brexit.

He noted that imports from Northern Ireland increased from €137 million to €177 million and exports to the north increased from €170 million to €190 million.

“That trading relationship is very important. As the minister said earlier, it is vitally important we keep the north-south trading relationship strong, and we protect the Good Friday Agreement.” Senator O’Reilly commented.

“Another issue that has arisen at the aforementioned Seanad select committee is the potential for increases in the price of bread which, while affecting everybody, will hit the poorest in our communities the hardest.”

“The problem is the milled flour for bread is being imported because we do not have sufficient flour milling capacity in Ireland.”

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