Beef price remains unchanged – Week-on-week throughput continues to ease

Early beef factory quotes show there has been no change in price this week, despite the week-on-week throughput of cattle easing.

Farmers selling steers for slaughter are still being offered 390c/kg. This excludes the 12c/kg bonus for cattle meeting the requirements of the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme.

Steer price has remained unchanged since well before Christmas, but in recent weeks steer throughput has dropped by 2%, figures from the Department of Agriculture show.

Beef prices:
  • Steer: 390c/kg
  • Heifers: 400c/kg
  • R grade cows: 330-340c/kg
  • O grade cows: 300-310c/kg
  • P grade cows: 290-300c/kg

The number of heifers slaughtered have also declined between the week ending February 28 and March 3, with heifer throughput during this period dropping by 5%.

But, despite the heifer kill falling, heifer prices are unchanged with a number of factories offering a base price of 400c/kg for these animals.

Like the prime cattle market, there has been no movement in cull cow price.

Farmers selling R grade cows can expected to be quoted 330-340c/kg, O grade cows are making 300-310c/kg and P grades are trading at 290-300/kg.

Irish beef export markets

According to Bord Bia, UK market demand for beef is sluggish for the majority of beef cuts, with the exception of fillets and rumps. The demand for these cuts have improved in advance of Easter.

It says that the UK beef price has fallen in value terms by about 6-7%, due to a combination of falling UK prices and the strengthening of the euro against Sterling.

In Britain, for the week ending March 5, the AHDB report that average prices for R4L grade steers declined slightly to 339.5p/kg (438c/kg).

The French beef trade continues to remain slow on the back of continued farmer protests. Beef promotions are currently focused on domestically produced manufacturing beef and steaks

However, it is hoped that the reopening of schools after the Spring break will see some improvement in the market, Bord Bia says.

Bord Bia also says that the Italian trade remains largely unchanged with some ease in forequarter wholesale prices reported.