IRELAND - IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said the beef trade is finely balanced.
Mr Woods said the full sale and clear out of the chills during the holiday period has left a strong demand for in-spec stock.
In addition he said the strong demand for cows indicates in-spec prime cattle are scarce and factories need the numbers to meet market demand.
Mr Woods said winter finishers need a strong price increase. He said feeding costs are much higher this time of year and the factories know the price has to rise.
He added based on market returns and especially the very strong price in Ireland's largest export market in the UK, where R3 steers are making the equivalent of €4.35/kg, there was significant scope for factories to increase prices.
The IFA Livestock leader said steers are making a base price of €3.75/3.80 and heifers are on €3.85/3.90.
He said some deals for heifers had been done at €3.95/kg with some deals on transport costs in places.
He said last week kill was 32,119 with some factories finding it very difficult to get cattle especially over the weekend and early today.
He said the cow trade has lifted with €3.05/kg for P grades, €3.20 for O grades, €3.40 for Rs and €3.50 for U grades.
He said this was a positive sign and an indication that in-spec stock are tight and they need numbers to meet market demand.
TheCattleSite News Desk