Last week saw a price differential of 93c/kg between Irish and British beef prices, according to figures from Bord Bia.

It says prices in Ireland remained relatively steady with some increases across certain categories with the majority of steers purchased at a base price of €3.60/kg. However, in Britain, Bord Bia says reported cattle prices from the AHDB have increased with GB R4L grade steers averaging at Stg361.2p/kg DW (equivalent to 453.2c/kg DW) for the week ended October 17. It says the trade has seen little change with demand for steak cuts and forequarter cuts slow, however it is hoped this will improve in the coming weeks.

Despite the price difference the cattle trade in Ireland remains steady on the back of strong demand according to Bord Bia. Its market update also notes that the trade has shown few changes across our key export markets in recent days.

Prices remain relatively steady with some increases across certain categories. The majority of steers continue to be purchased at a base price of €3.60/kg on the Quality Payment System with selected lots making up to €3.65/kg. Heifers were being purchased on average at €3.70/kg with selected lots of heifers making up to €3.75/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 generally making between €3.10 to €3.25/kg.

Figures from the Department show that cattle supplies at export meat plants for the week ending October 11 stood at around 35,000 head, which was up 6% on the figure for the equivalent week in 2013. Bord Bia says cumulative supplies for the year to-date are now 11% or 130,000 head above the figures for the corresponding period last year currently standing at 1.29 million head. Throughput of prime cattle is up by 13%.

In France, the market continues to remain steady with strong supplies of imported beef on the market. There are some promotions for topsides and striploins. In Italy, little change has been reported in the market. Bord Bia report in France the R3 young bull price was down 3c to €3.62/kg and the O3 cow price was down 9c to €3.19/kg. In Italy the R3 young bull price was €3.82/kg and the O3 cow price was down 9c to €2.62/kg.