Strong cattle prices due to tight supplies

IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman Michael Doran said cattle prices are continuing to rise, up 6–10c/kg driven by very strong market demand, tight supplies and a determination by winter finishers to recover the increases in feed costs.

IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman Michael Doran said cattle prices are continuing to rise, up 6–10c/kg driven by very strong market demand, tight supplies and a determination by winter finishers to recover the increases in feed costs.

He commented "factory agents and procurement managers are very active with numerous factories chasing the same cattle and some feeders saying agents they hadn't seen in 5 years calling into them looking for stock."

Michael Doran said the base price for steers had moved up to €3.36/kg to €3.42/kg with some top prices of €3.48/kg paid. Heifer prices have increased to €3.42/kg to €3.50/kg with tops of €3.56/kg.

Mr Doran pointed out that based on the Department of Agriculture official reported prices, up to 10 factories paid an average base price for heifers in excess of €3.50/kg. He said clearly this means many farmers were getting a heifer base price well in excess of €3.50/kg.

The IFA livestock leader said with the most recent increase in feed and fertiliser costs, winter finishers will have to get substantial further cattle price increases to recover these additional expenses. He said based on the latest figures the increased costs were the equivalent of up to 20c/kg in beef prices.

On Turkey, Michael Doran said a number of the independent factories had expressed a strong interest in exporting bulls. He said Minister Smith had opened the Turkish market and it was now up to the factories to take advantage of the higher market returns available.

He said the spotlight is now firmly on the industry to demonstrate its commitment to maximising market returns in the form of higher producer prices.

On supplies, Michael Doran said Bord Bia are forecasting a reduction in the kill of up to 150,000 cattle for 2011 and a similar reduction in 2012.