Irish Beef Market Update: Implications for the UK

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Irish finished cattle prices have been relatively robust through the first few months of 2024. We recap the key trends in the market, the outlook for the rest of the year, and what this could mean for the UK.

See also: Irish Sheep Trade & Prices w/e May 19th 2024

Key points

  • Irish finished cattle prices have trodden a similar path to last year, but increased supply has kept prices a few cents back.
  • Firm beef demand in the UK and EU have boosted Irish export volumes and supported prices.
  • Current Irish cattle population data points to lower slaughter cattle availability towards the end of 2024 and into 2025.
  • From a supply perspective, factoring in UK and EU outlooks would suggest underlying support for European cattle prices generally.

Prices following similar trend to 2023, but supply weighing on the market

So far this year, Irish prime cattle prices have trodden a similar path to 2023, albeit consistently being a few cents back on the year. Irish cattle slaughter has been higher than a year ago during the first 20 weeks of 2024, but firm export demand in the UK and EU has offered price support.

Hannah Clarke | AHDB

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