Beef trade: Factory quotes unchanged, but dealing with lower supplies

A total number of 35,869 (excluding calves) beef cattle were processed during the week ending February 24 – a 1,172 head decrease on the week before.

And, as has been the case over the past number of weeks, beef factories are quick to quote prices of 375c/kg for steers and 385c/kg for factory-ready heifers.

Moving to bulls this week, factory agents are quoting 330-340c/kg for O-grade bulls, while R-grades are moving for 350-360c/kg; procurement managers are quoting 360-370c/kg for U-grades.

Again, weight restrictions are causing some farmers problems when it comes to marketing their bulls.

Beef buyers are starting negotiations with farmers for cows at 260c/kg for P-grade cows; poorer-quality cows are achieving lower prices.

In addition, 280-290c/kg is on the table for O-grade animals and 300c/kg is being quoted for R-grade cows. However, the location and demand of individual processing plants plays a role in the price being quoted to farmers for cows.

Weekly kill

Turning to the weekly kill, as mentioned above, the total number of 35,869 cattle – excluding calves – were processed during the week ending February 24.

The number of young bulls processed amounted to 5,910 head – a fall of 550 head and the number of cows processed by Irish beef plants stood at 7,343 – a fall of 79 head.

Some 11,266 factory-fit bullocks were slaughtered – a fall of 486 head. Moving to heifers, 10,894 of these animals were processed during the week ending February 24 – down from 10,760 head during the week before. Furthermore, some 191 fewer aged bulls were slaughtered.

Week-on-week beef kill changes (week ending February 24):
  • Young bulls: 5,910 head (-550 head or -8.5%);
  • Bulls: 456 head (-191 head or -29%);
  • Steers: 11,266 head (-486 head or -4%);
  • Cows: 7,343 head (-79 head or -1%);
  • Heifers: 10,894 head (-134 head or -1.2%);
  • Total: 35,869 head (-1,172 head or -3.1%).