Live exports, increasing demand and almost no imports from Brazil boost trade

A VIBRANT live export trade, increased beef consumption across Europe, and a small drop in production, should make for a very positive back end for the cattle trade, according to Galway IFA Livestock Chairman, Michael Flynn.

He also said that the virtual shutdown of Brazilian beef exports – due to serious ongoing concerns over health and quality issues – meant that supplies were tightening both in Ireland and the UK and across Europe.

“So far this year, consumption across Europe is up by 1.5% while production is down by 1%. That all adds up to a 2.5% deficit and that should mean that supply will find it hard to meet demand which is good news for Irish cattle farmers.

“The live export trade has also been very vibrant this year and just the week before last we had 5,000 cattle leaving on boats.

“Countries like Libya, Turkey, Greece and Spain are providing ready market outlets for Irish cattle and over the coming months we will have hit a figure of 200,000 Irish cattle being exported this year,” said Michael Flynn.

He advised farmers to ‘bargain hard’ if selling cattle to factories and to go the marts if they felt their stock weren’t quite finished. “There’s a very strong demand and plenty of buyers at the marts,” he said.

According to IFA National Livestock Chairman, Angus Woods, bbeef production and cattle numbers for the second half of 2017 will be much less that originally forecasted.

“There are three key factors impacting to lower beef production and numbers for the second half of 2017. For the first six months of the year, the kill is already up 40,000 head. These cattle are now slaughtered.

“Carcass weights are down significantly, by 8.2kg on steers alone, and across all categories of stock lower weights will result in the equivalent of a 30,000-head reduction in numbers. Live exports are running 43,500 head higher than last year,” said Angus Woods.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.