Forward store cattle are making upwards of €3/kg this week, a €100/head lift on the same week last year.

The store cattle trade is being described as “on fire” with a combination of Northern Ireland buyers and southern beef finishers competing for forward stores.

Exports of Irish weanlings are running 40% ahead of last year, with increased interest for cattle coming from north Africa and the Middle East. A disease outbreak in Portugal and Spain has forced north African countries to source cattle elsewhere.

A number of Algerian buyers were in Ireland last week visiting farms with Eamon Corley of the Emerald Isle Beef Producers group. He said: “Our buyers are looking for 18,000 cattle over the next 12 months and we are hoping to have the first load shipped in November.”

He said the first load will consist of weanlings and in-calf heifers, with a boatload of finished cattle planned before the end of 2023.