The prices farmers are being offered for cull cows have dropped considerably over the last week with quotes back by 10c/kg.

However, reports from beef plants indicate that the prime cattle trade is remaining relatively stable with prices unchanged from last week.

According to factory procurement managers, the prices for cull cows have dropped for the second consecutive week with most processors now paying 340c/kg for R grade cows.

The dairy type P and O grade lots have also taken a hit and farmers are being offered 320c/kg and 330c/kg for these lots.

Procurement managers added that despite the fall they are having no difficulty purchasing cows at these lower prices.

Despite the fall in the cull trade, the prices being offered for prime cattle on the grid have remained relatively stable with the majority of plants unchanged from last week.

Early quotes indicate that the majority of beef plants are offering 390c/kg for steers while the heifer price remains unchanged at 400c/kg, these prices exclude the 12c/kg Quality Assurance payment.

These prices have remained stable despite the increased numbers of factory fit cattle coming forward off grass.

factory price

Export Markets

Trade across the key export markets for Irish beef remains slow, according to Bord Bia.

The British beef price has eased, it says, with the average prices paid for R4L sitting at 356.8p/kg deadweight (506c/kg) for the week ending November 7.

The trade in Britain remains slow, particularly for steaks while forequarter product such as diced beef remains a good trade.

Bord Bia also says the trade in France continues to remain sluggish with little indication of an upturn until the festive period with French retail promotions focused on domestically produced striploins.

However, the Italian trade remains stable despite some ease in throughputs while the live cattle trade between France and Italy has been on the rise since the dissolution of the blockade of cattle affected by bluetongue, says Bord Bia.

Total Cattle Throughput back by 6%

The cumulative throughput of cattle at beef export plants has dropped by 6%, figures from the Department of Agriculture show, as total throughput currently stands at 1.35m.

As of November 02, 2015, the cumulative national beef kill was back by 77,160 head on the corresponding period in 2014, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

Total heifer throughput to Irish export plants has dropped by 4% or 14,029 head to November 2, 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.

The cumulative number of steers going to factories have increased on 2014 levels by 21,801 head, with 548,782 slaughtered to date in 2015.