Factory prices continue to slide

Department of Agriculture figures released this afternoon outlining national factory prices paid last week for cattle paint a negative picture with prices down across the board. In addition, according to Bord Bia’s market update, continued slow demand from key export markets continues to have some impact on the trade.

In Britain, Bord Bia outline trade remains slow overall with supplies meeting demand levels. Demand for steak and round cuts remain steady with little uplift reported and any pick-up in advance of Easter has yet to be noticed, it said.

It noted trade for manufacturing product remains weak. Reported cattle prices from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board remain steady with GB R4L grade steers averaging at Stg 374.8 pence/kg dw (equivalent to 456.07 cent/kg dw) for the week ended 15 February.

Bord Bia also cited French trade is reported as continuing to remain slow this week, which is usual for this time of year. Continued mild weather is reported to have reduced the demand for forequarter cuts. In Italy, the market is reported as evenly balanced between supply and demand.

Back at home national average factory prices for steers, cows, heifers for the week 17 -23 February 2014, as reported by the Department of Agriculture are as follows:

Steers

Factory prices received by farmers for steers have held at a base in the region of €4/kg for a number of weeks now and came under increased pressure last week. National average prices paid for U=3= cattle was 409c/kg last week which represents a €0.02 fall when compared to the previous week. For cattle in the R=3= grade 398c/kg was received on average by farmers which was more or less unchanged on the previous week. While for O=3= steers farmers received on average 386c/kg also which was up marginally on the previous week.

Cows

Cow prices were particularly hard hit last week. Average cow factory prices were down last week across all the grade classes. Top class U=3= cows held firm on average making 339c/kg down €0.11 on the previous week. R=3= grade cows last week were receiving 321c/kg on average, down €0.09 on the previous week. Poorer grading O=3= were also down last week at 290c/kg a fall of €0.07.

Heifers

Heifer factory prices were also not immune to downward pressure across all grade classes last week. Quotes for heifers were generally in the region of €4/kg base price. Quality U=3= heifers were making 432c/kg on average last week down €0.04 on the previous week. Farmers killing R=3= heifers were receiving 411c/kg on average which is down €0.04 on the previous week. O=3= heifers average prices were 395c/kg paid also down €0.01 on the previous week.

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