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Reports agents 'hunting' for finished stock as cattle supplies tighten


The cattle trade has edged upwards on the back of relatively good demand with some ease in supplies reported.

IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said cattle prices have risen a further 5 to 10c/kg this week, with the base price for steers at €3.90/kg and €3.95/kg paid.

He said the base price for heifers has also moved on to €4.00/kg and some incidences of €4.05/kg being paid.

Angus Woods said tighter numbers have left agents and factories hunting for finished stock.

He said feeders needed to dig in hard and insist on further price increases, which are desperately needed to lift winter finishing out of loss making territory.

Angus Woods said young bulls are making up to €4.00/kg for Us. Cow prices have also risen 5/10c/kg with R grades now making €3.55/3.60.

Cattle supplies at Irish export meat plants for the week ending March 10 totalled almost 34,000 head which was up 7% or 2,000 on the equivalent week in 2016.

Cumulative supplies of steers were on a par with 2016 levels while heifers were marginally ahead. Young bulls were down by 10% while year to date supply of cows were up 17% on 2016 levels.

Overall total cumulative supplies of cattle were standing at around 335,000 head which was up 2% or almost 7,000 head on the corresponding period in 2016.


According to Bord Bia, in the UK, the trade eased slightly this week on the back of relatively strong supplies. Cattle prices from the AHDB have shown little change and the GB R4L grade steers were averaging at 360 pence/kg.

This is the equivalent to 411.5 cent/kg dw for the week ended March 11.

In terms of heifer prices, the R3 heifer in Great Britain was making the equivalent of 410 cents/kg with the Northern Ireland price making on average 400 cents/kg. Looking at exchange rates €1 was making on average 87 pence sterling.


In France, Bord Bia says the market remains unchanged with difficulties ongoing for imported product.

It says demand has slowed for most products including offal and traditional cuts. Domestic produced product is performing best while promotions are limited at retail level to domestically produced ribs.

The latest R3 young bull price was making on average 375 cents/kg while the O3 cow price was up 2 cent making 314 cents/kg.

In Italy, the market remains steady this week. The R3 young bull price was making on average 399 cents/kg while the O3 cow price was making 260 cents/kg.

Online Editors