Cattle trade relatively unchanged

Cattle trade remained relatively unchanged over the last week as increased throughput continues to put pressure on prices. This is according to Bord Bia’s latest market update. It also noted demand remains mixed in key export markets.

Bord Bia reported there has been little change reported in the beef trade last week. The majority of steers were purchased during the week at a base price of around €3.90 to €3.95/kg on the Quality Payment System which is identical to previous week’s prices. It says heifers are continuing to trade at a base price of between €3.95 to €4.00/kg. These prices exclude the €0.12/kg bonus which is payable on in-spec QA animals. Prices paid for O grade cull cows are making between €2.80 to €3.05/kg.

In Britain, Bord Bia outline trade picked up slightly with steak cuts in particular experiencing greater demand as a result of the fine weather. It says manufacturing product still remains sluggish. Reported cattle prices from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board show GB R4L grade steers averaging at Stg 373.9 pence/kg dw (equivalent to 447.5 cent/kg dw) for the week ended 8th March.

In France, Bord Bia found the trade has remained steady with promotions on Irish beef in the run up to St Patricks Day last Monday. However overall demand remains slow since the beginning of the year due to the ongoing mild weather. In Italy, no changes to the market conditions of previous weeks have been reported.

Bord Bia outline in France, the R3 young bull price was down 4c to €3.88/kg, while the 03 cow price was up 1c to €3.42/kg, while in Italy, the R3 young bull price was up 9c to €4.13/kg and the 03 cow price was up 2c to €2.76/kg.

National average factory prices for steers, cows, and heifers for the week 10-16 March 2014, as reported by the Department of Agriculture are as follows:

Steers

Sample National average prices paid for U=3= cattle was 400c/kg last week which represents a €0.14 fall when compared to the previous week. For cattle in the R=3= grade 392c/kg was received on average by farmers which was down €0.03 on the previous week. While for O=3= steers farmers received on average 382c/kg also which was down €0.01 also on the previous week.

Cows

Cow prices were particularly hard hit in recent weeks following on from severe cuts since the start of the year. Average cow factory prices were down last week across all the grade classes. Sample prices include top class U=3= cows held firm on average making 342c/kg up €0.04 on the previous week. R=3= grade cows last week were receiving 315c/kg on average, down €0.05 on the previous week. Poorer grading O=3= were also more or less unchanged last week at 291c/kg up €0.01.

Heifers

Heifer factory prices were also not immune to downward pressure across all grade classes in recent weeks. Quotes for heifers were generally in the region of €3.90 to €4/kg base price. Quality U=3= heifers were making 429c/kg on average last week up €0.01 on the previous week. Farmers killing R=3= heifers were receiving 407c/kg on average which is up €0.01 on the previous week. O=3= heifers average prices were 391c/kg down€0.04 on the previous week.

Northern Ireland

The Livestock and Meat Commission in Northern Ireland report in their latest update that the average steer price in NI last week was back by 5.5p/kg to 327.6p/kg while the R3 steer price was back by 8p/kg to 337.4p/kg. The average heifer price in NI last week was 334p/kg, back 6p/kg from the previous week while the R3 heifer price was back by 6.4p/kg to 339.4p/kg. This is the lowest R3 heifer price in NI since December 2012. Young bull prices in NI last week was back by 5p/kg to 296.2p/kg while average cow prices were back by 1.3p/kg to 222.4p/kg.

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