UK demand for beef keeps marching on and on
We were an odd bunch watching the royal wedding in my kitchen. Myself -the farmer with little in the way of royal leanings; my wife, the unabashed royalist and lover of weddings in general; my vet, a German with strong views on matters military.
The point of me mentioning this is that once Harry and Meghan had headed off, the party proper began all across Britain. Everyone came together in celebration and everywhere there was lots of food, much of it originating in Ireland.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that the UK's Inland Revenue stated the value of beef imports from the Republic had increased during January and February by 2.9pc and continues to increase. Our beef exports to Britain are up 10pc for the first quarter of the year.
These results show that the British market has become more dependent on Irish beef since the Brexit referendum.
They are more remarkable still considering the fact that sterling has weakened against the euro since the exit ballot.
All of which goes to show that the UK is still the main event when it comes to finding a ready, paying and easily accessible market for our beef.
It is the market that dictates factory prices for cattle. Prices that this week sees bullocks on a base of €4.15-4.20/kg, while heifers are on €4.25/kg, with the prospect of €4.30/kg reported as "possible".
Under 16-month bulls are trading off an R grade base of €4.15-4.20/kg, while under 24-month bulls see Us on €4.20-4.25/kg, Rs are at €4.20-4.15/kg, with Os on €4.00-4.10/kg.
Cows also move up with prices for P+s now at €3.50/kg, while Os are on €3.60-3.70/kg and Rs are €3.80-3.90/kg, with Us being bought at €4.00/kg. There might be a bit of up and down when it comes to the deal, but to quote one factory source: "If you have a few we'll deal."
Returning to the wedding, my vet said he'd have a cup of coffee and watch five minutes. Forty five minutes later he's looking up British marching music on his phone as he leaves.
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