Tight supplies and strong market demand have pushed cattle prices on in the past few days, IFA livestock chair Brendan Golden has said.

“Factories are actively seeking cattle and base prices have moved on 5c/kg. Steers are making €4.15/kg to €4.20/kg, with heifers making €4.20-€4.30/kg in some factories with higher deals for larger and specialist lots,” he said.

The IFA has pointed to shed cattle having gone through the system and poor grass growth potenitially delaying grass cattle, which could lead to a further tightening available supplies.

Positive market

The livestock chair said imports to the EU market from Brazil are expected to be low this year as they focus on trying to fill the demand for beef in the Chinese market.

The IFA also highlights that market conditions are strong as demand from the food service sector increases for the summer months and more reopenings take place.

“This creates a very positive market environment for Irish beef in the key EU market where demand is expected to increase from the food service sector for the summer months,” Golden said.

“Bord Bia predicts supplies of finished cattle to reduce up to 120,000 head this year. Farmers should sell hard as factories struggle to match supplies with market demand.”