Irish beef production increased sharply again in April, continuing the recent pressure on GB values.

Production in April increased by 21%, to 49,500t, according to a report by Eblex. “This follows a 27% rise during March.” In the first four months of the year production was 15% up on the year.

“The continued uplift comes as no surprise, given the significant increase in the number of male cattle on farm over two years of age reported in the December 2013 survey,” said the report. “With the number of males aged one to two years 9% higher, there are also likely to be year-on-year production increases in the coming months. This likely means that UK imports of Irish beef will continue to be high, given that the UK market accounts for around half of Irish beef exports.”

However, in the longer term, a notable decline in younger cattle on farm meant supplies were likely to tighten later this year and into 2015 and 2016, it added.

The supply and demand imbalance continued to drive GB prices down, with the all-finished steer average dropping by 1.6p/kg in the week to 31 May, to 335.6p/kg deadweight.