Cattle prices hold as farmers and shippers battle for supplies
Intense competition between farmers and shippers - and continuing strong grass growth - has helped keep a floor under cattle prices over the last week, despite marts reporting massive entries.
Mart managers said cattle numbers for the last fortnight have been among the highest seen at the start of March for many years.
However, prices have held as farmer and shipper buyers battled for stock. With two boats due to sail for Libya over the next few weeks, agents were active in many southern marts.
The massive surge in grass growth recently has also prompted serious farmer buying, both of heifers and bullocks.
Although light heifers are in strong demand and generally making €2.00-2.20/kg, mart managers point out that these prices are 20-40c/kg back on last year.
A firm trade for bullocks has seen the majority of continentals sell for €2.40-2.60/kg, while Angus bullocks made €2.00-2.20/kg.
Meanwhile, IFA president Joe Healy met the Iranian ambassador, Masoud Eslami, yesterday to progress talks on reopening trade for beef, dairy and sheep meat between Ireland and Iran.
Mr Healy said there was real potential for substantial Irish agricultural exports to Iran, especially beef and dairy produce.