Beef prices remain consistent with positive outlook ahead, sheep prices on the move

10th January, 2012

Livestock Price Coordinator for the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), John Cleary, has said that while prices have not improved following the post Christmas spike, the factory trade has remained solid and prices on a par with last week. Mr. Cleary also said that the overall outlook is quite good for at least the first eight to nine months of 2012.

For a good mix of steers, the base price being quoted is €4.05 – 4.10/kg, a further increase of 5c for the lower quotes from last week. Factories are quoting €4.20- €4.25/kg for heifers, this is no change from last week. For a mix of U and R grade bulls, the base price is also €4.15 – €4.20/kg, roughly the same quotes from last week  Base price quotes for cows stand at €3.20-€3.65/kg, again no change from week.

Commenting on this week’s trade, Mr. Cleary said: “Things are much of a muchness from last week. Prices are high and factories are actively looking for stock to meet their quotas so this all means that farmers are in the driving seat. Farmers, however, should not be simply settling for whatever the factory quotes them for their stock. These places are desperate for stock so those more adept at negotiating can push for higher than the quotes. The main piece of advise the ICSA could give to anyone at the minute is not to sell soft. The overall outlook is for a positive 8-9 months for 2012. The kill rate should remain below the norm for the majority of 2012 and this will mean that prices should continue strongly for the majority of the year.

Sheep prices are on the rise also with scarcities developing across the country. Prices for lambs up to 23.5kg are €5.25/kg, up 5c from last week. Ewes are being quoted €3.20/kg, no change from last week.