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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 prices: €3.65-€4.10/kg on the table for cows as factories ‘compete for supplies’

Update on January 22 beef prices 

Beef prices continue to edge upwards on the back of tight supplies and strong factory demand.

That is according to IFA livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, who reported that demand in our “key” exports markets – the EU and UK – is “strong”.

“The prime export benchmark price showing consistent growth since the beginning of the year. It is now 3c/kg above our price,” he said.

He reported that base prices, this week, are starting at €4.30/kg for steers and €4.35/kg for heifers. He added that a further 5c to 10c/kg is available for larger and specialist lots.

On the other hand, he outlined that R/U grade young bulls are ranging from €4.20/kg to €4.40/kg.

He pointed out that demand for processing beef is “particularly strong”, with cow prices ranging from €3.65/kg to €4.10/kg.

Overall, Golden said numbers of slaughter fit cattle are “tight”. “With live exports to NI performing strongly for forward store and finished cattle, factories are having to compete for supplies.”

He advises farmers to sell “hard” in these “positive” market conditions to match the price returns in our main markets.

Update on sheep prices

Meanwhile, according to the newly elected IFA sheep chairman, Kevin Comiskey, factories have moved hogget prices up by 10c/kg this week.

He cited “strong” demand from the food-service sector and tight supplies as the primary reasons for the increase.

Comiskey outlined most hoggets are now making €7.00/kg, with deals of €7.10/kg “on the cards particularly for larger lots”. Furthermore, cull ewes are making between €3.30/kg to €3.50/kg.

Comiskey described plant’s sanctions for overweight lambs as “severe” and “unnecessary”. He said factories must revisit these measures as domestic demand strengthens and staffing issues ease at processing level.

“It is important farmers sell hard in a rising market while moving lambs as they become fit,” he said.

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