Figures about the prices of beef continue to soar across Ireland’s major marts. From Limerick to Dundalk, Bohemian, and other major cities beef prices have been positive. The bullock numbers reveal an average price hovering between the 350-490 kg and 495–590 kg categories.
There exists a noticeable 8c per kg decline in the 310-390 kg category and a 6c per kg decline in the average rate of the 620 kg beef. Let’s check how beef prices in Ireland fare, despite factors affecting it.
Overview of Beef prices in Ireland
Carlow and Leinster mart managers said there were some kinds of beef which increased by €25- 35 per head. Asides, the smaller 320–390 kg home beef, the sales look more like it’s dominated by finisher proceedings.
This implies that more indigenous kinds of beef were demanded, especially Hereford, Friesan, and Angus. These beef types saw a huge surge in prices last week. However, don’t be confused, the global market still very much prefers quality beef which is sold between €2.50—€2.70 per kg.
Hereford and Angus kinds of beef ranging 420 kg and above ended sales on an average of 2-9c per kg which was better than last week’s results. The indices which drive up the price were the availability of quality and excellent beef. The average of these beef increases by 8c per kg to €2.30 per kg in the 429–499 kg category. The highest price for beef aside from Hereford and Angus saw an increase of €2.49 per kg in the 659 kg category.
The Friesan breed also saw an increase with categories in the 420–499 kg and 529–590 kg surging to a good rate of €1.79 and €1.85 per kg respectively. The robust breeds in the 420–490 kg category added 11c per kg to get an increase of €2.00.
These price rates are very fair considering happenings and the time of the year. This information shows that despite the data given about the reduction in the quality of beef and husbandry systems, one can still find excellent Friesan beef.
Weather conditions affecting beef price
The weather is a huge factor who those who intend to grass. This is supported by Auctioneer Brian Rudolf of Kilkenny when he states.
“There is no information yet on why beef prices should be stable and when there is a price increase when the grass is visible, it is only for a short while. But if the weathers are harsh, it could affect the beef price for the short-term. ‘
Though the quality 360–399 kg international heifer appreciated 4c per kg to €2.54 per kg and splendid Angus and Hereford saw an increase by 19c per kg to €2.25 per kg, it is a fact that general beef price in this category is stable at €2.30. The 360–390 kg is the only beef category of the heifer breed that stayed at a good position from the last week, but general rates increase by 4-5c per head across all other weights.
The question about their sales stability is still very much on everybody’s lips, however, three determiners will affect sales: weather, grass development, and whether coronavirus lockdown will be lifted.
Beef prices in some Irish marts
Let’s look at sales of beefs and price ranges in major marts in the country.
According to Mart manager, John O’Neal, he reported impressive sales with feedlot purchasers paying €1.90—€2.18 per kg at Angus, while farm buyers got 350 kg Angus and Hereford breeds and heifers at €2.35 per kg. Moreover, for Friesan, sticks from 459- 490 kg averaged at € 1.55-1.75 per kg. Also, bulkier breeds saw an increase of €1.77—€1.89 per kg. Cull cows showed huge sales by selling for around €359 per head.
At this location, bull rates over around 380–450 per kg and € 2.25-2.79 kg at most places. The heifers in the 280–359 kg category averaged € 2.26-2.69 per kg with the highest reaching €2.65 per kg. Bullocks also show a small entry with prices ranging from 550–659 kg category averaging around €1,300 - 1,459 per head which was an increase of about € 28–43.
At Granard, the situation report was that there was a huge turnout for bullocks under 559 kg which average €3 per kg and the highest increase at €2.68 per kg. Furthermore, in the 560–600 kg category, the highest increase was €2.40 per kg which averages €3 per kg. The Friesan beef at 14c per kg saw a sales of €1.99 per kg.
Sales at this Mart saw Hereford and Angus breeds selling from € 439–660 per head while the Friesan sold an average of € 227–420 per head. International stores sold from €589 to 850 depending on their size. The heifer section saw continental selling from €459- 630 depending on the weight.
Hereford and Angus averaged € 330–520 per head in the euro kg. Cows from beef hover around € 269–590 per head while feeding cows are selling for € 130–270 per head. Out of the calves, only Hereford and Angus averaged € 150–290 per head with heifers selling on € 110–250.
Prices of beef in Ireland are positive and should continue to rise in the near future.