'There's no cattle glut' - IFA
Published 21/06/2016 | 02:30
Debate over a potential cattle glut next autumn has intensified as cattle prices dropped for the second week in a row.
The IFA has moved to play down forecasts by Bord Bia and the Minister for Agriculture that 50,000-80,000 additional cattle would be arriving at the factory gates this autumn.
Livestock chairman Angus Woods has instead claimed that 24-36 month animals were down by 58,000hd compared with last year.
However, Bord Bia analysis shows that this was largely a result of the trend to slaughter animals at a younger age.
The food agency maintains that the combination of lower exports to Northern Ireland, increasing numbers of culls, and an increase in young bulls will more than counter this fact.
In addition to the increase this autumn, AIMS data is pointing to an increase of more than 100,000 head being fit for slaughter next spring.
Cull cow numbers have continued to rise, and prices are back by 10c/kg to €3.40/kg for R grades. Prices for prime steers and heifers are also back by 5c/kg, a development that has alarmed farmers during a month when prices traditionally remained stable or hardened.
Livestock exporters looked to take advantage of the trade's uncertainty by dampening expectations for the Turkish trade, despite their cries for action just a few weeks ago.