The new year has brought a brisk trade in the calf trade with prices for Friesian calves born in Autumn selling for up to €260 per head. Continental bulls have reached prices of up to €470 per head. Friesian bulls that are just 5 weeks old are selling for between €200 to €355 per head.
The Department of Agriculture underspent its budget by €86m in 2016. Eamon O Cuiv, Fianna Fail Deputy believes the underspend is on the Rural Development Programme. Mr O Cuiv’s main concern is that the money will not be spent.
Beef production worldwide is expected to increase by 1.4% this year. Australia is expected to have a 24% decrease in beef exports this year due to a lack of supply.
Further inspection visits by China to Ireland in order to progress beef exports are expected to take place later in 2017. The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed is progressing the next steps following a detailed questionnaire from China which was recently replied to.
The drop in sterling due to the UK vote to leave the EU in 2016 cost the Irish food and drink exporters over €570m, according to Bord Bia. The euro grew 13% against sterling in 2016. There was however a 2% increase on the value of exports coming in at a record €11.15bn. Irish food and drink has now grown by 41% since 2010. Exports to the UK fell 8%.
Glanbia has invested $400m into the American market which will solidify their position as the largest producer of American cheddar cheese in the US. Glanbia intends to build on a greenfield cheese and whey plant in Michigan, following talks with 3 local dairy co-ops. The plant will be able to produce 3.6m litres of milk per day and is expected to open in mid-2019. Glanbia will split ownership 50:50, with the 3 co-ops owning 50%.
Bord Bia predicts 100,000 – 120,000 extra cattle will be ready for slaughter in 2017 and these come on the back of the 133,000 higher calf registrations in the previous year. Sheep exports increase 3% by volume and 4% by value coming in at €240m in exports.
The Health and Safety Authority has revealed that there were 44 workplace accidents in 2016. This was a 21% fall on 2015. However, farming fatal accidents grew by 17% in 2016.