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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: Some factories attempt to dampen trade but agents remain active

Strong supermarket demand for beef continues to drive the cattle trade, according to IFA national livestock chairman, Brendan Golden. He said prices are €3.80/kg for steers and €3.85/kg for heifers this week, with “higher deals for larger and specialist lots”.

He noted that young bulls are ranging from €3.75 to €3.95/kg for R and U grades.

Golden stated that cows are starting at €3/kg for P grades and pushing up to €3.60/kg at the top-end for good grading continentals. He said “a lot of cows” are selling in the €3.20-€3.40/kg range.

“Despite some factories attempting to dampen the trade this week, factory agents remain very active on the ground and in marts trying to fill orders,” he said.

Cattle prices – €4.64/kg in GB

Prices in GB and NI are strong and steady, reflecting the demand in UK supermarkets where beef sales continue to perform strongly.

The latest R4L price for steers in GB is the vat inclusive equivalent of €4.64/kg. He said the latest Prime Irish Composite price is 5c/kg above the Export Benchmark Price.

80,000 fewer cattle in 2021

He said the increased value of consumer purchasing and spending on beef in supermarkets must be reflected in prices to farmers.

“The predictions are for 80,000 fewer cattle this year.  Combined with the performance of beef in the key supermarket trade, this creates a positive market environment that must be reflected in beef prices paid to farmers,” he said.

Golden said farmers unable to secure the higher factory prices should seriously consider the mart trade, where factory agents have been particularly active for finished cattle over the past few weeks.

Beef prices need to “push on” 

Last week, Golden said that beef cattle prices need to “push on”.

In a statement, last week, he said beef prices are “steady” at €3.80 to €3.85/kg for bullocks, and €3.85 to €3.90kg for heifers, with higher deals for larger and specialist lots.

He said cow prices were starting at €3/kg for P grades and moving up to €3.50/kg for good quality R/U grading cows, while O grades were making €3.10 to €3.30/kg.

Furthermore, he added that R/U grading young bulls were making €3.75 to €3.95/kg.

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