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Brussels buy-up lifts Irish beef

By Philip Clarke

IRISH beef prices received a fillip this week following a Brussels decision to accept some 769t of O grade steer beef into intervention, the first time it has made any such purchases since 1999.

The buy-up will take the front ends of about 6500 cattle off the market in the next two weeks.

On average the Irish tender was at Euro221/kg, which is equivalent to 70.5p/lb for O grade animals, amounting to a forequarter price of 56.5p/lb, said Irish Farmers Association livestock chairman, Derek Deane.

This is 5p/lb above the current quote for forequarters and should add 2p/lb to carcass values.

Irish R3 steers are fetching 83p/lb (143p/kg sterling equivalent), which falls far short of what farm ministers promised last June, in terms of supporting autumn cattle values, says the IFA.

But farm minister Joe Walsh said the fact that Brussels was paying Euro4/100kg more for steers than for young bulls showed it was committed to supporting the market.

Agenda 2000 had also secured direct aid worth Ir1.08/kg (49p/lb). This should not be overlooked when assessing the overall situation.

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Brussels buy-up lifts Irish beef

7 September 2001

Brussels buy-up lifts Irish beef

By Philip Clarke

IRISH beef prices received a fillip this week following a Brussels decision to accept some 769t of O grade steer beef into intervention, the first time it has made any such purchases since 1999.

The buy-up, which is mainly for forequarters, will take the front ends of about 6500 cattle off the market in the next two weeks out of a weekly kill of 37,000.

"On average the Irish tender was at k221/kg, which is the equivalent of 70.5p/lb for O grade animals, amounting to a forequarter price of 56.5p/lb," said Irish Farmers Association livestock chairman, Derek Deane. "This is 5p/lb above the current quote for forequarters and should add 2p/lb to carcass values."

As FW went to Press on Wed (Sept 5), there were signs that prices had improved, with R3 steers fetching 83p/lb (143p/kg sterling equivalent) – about 1p/lb more than last week.

But, according to the IFA, this falls far short of what farm ministers promised last June, in terms of supporting autumn cattle values.

"These prices are completely unviable," said president, Tom Parlon, following a meeting on Wednesday with farm minister, Joe Walsh.

"Producers who bought stores last autumn or early spring are all losing serious money."

But Mr Walsh said the fact that Brussels was paying k4/100kg more for steers than for young bulls showed it was committed to supporting the market. Agenda 2000 had also secured direct aid worth Ir£1.08/kg (49p/lb). "While producers are fully entitled to these payments, their value should not be overlooked when assessing the overall situation."

Bord Bia economist, Poraig Brennan also pointed to the improving demand situation. "Continental markets are coming back to life after the summer break and sales to Russia are going well. Traders are booking up to 2000t a week in export licences, showing their confidence that the business is there."

EU prices should also benefit from the commissions decision to buy up another 3756t of young bull beef on the Continent at up to k221/100kg (79p/lb) for R grades, taking stockpiles to over 250,000t. &#42

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