The cattle kill jumped to 1,737 million in Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine approved plants in 2017.
Beef sold well over the holiday period and “the market has recommended strongly again” according to IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods.
Woods said that factories are finding it difficult enough to get cattle. Plants are paying €4.05/kg base for steers and €4.15/kg base for heifers this week.
With the 100,000 head increase in the kill for 2017 and the big weekly kills in the autumn, supplies are expected to be tighter in 2018, Woods added.
A potential for cattle prices to rise
Angus Woods said cattle finishers need to dig in hard and drive on prices over the coming weeks as winter finishing at this time of year is a very costly enterprise.
The IFA livestock leader said based on price returns from our largest export market in the UK and our main markets across Continental Europe, there is significant potential for cattle prices to rise.
Angus Woods said cattle prices in the UK are the equivalent of €4.40/4.45/kg for R3 steers including VAT. Across the main EU Continental markets R3 young bulls are making from €4.20 to €4.40/kg including VAT.