Beef prices remain steady as strong supplies continue

Beef prices have remained steady this week, with most processors reporting little or no change compared to last week’s prices.

Most processors are now offering a base price of 365c/kg for steers and 375c/kg for heifers.

With regards to cows, prices have remained largely unchanged from last week as procurement managers offer 280c/kg for P grades and 310c/kg for R grade cows.

As has been the case, in-spec cattle remain in demand with some processors willing to pay an additional 5c/kg for such animals.

Base beef quotes:
  • Steers: 365c/kg
  • Heifers: 375c/kg
  • R grade cows: 310c/kg
  • O grade cows: 290c/kg
  • P grade cows: 280c/kg

Procurement managers have reported that supplies continue to remain strong for the week ahead, with most factories reporting that there lairages are full or close to full in the coming days.

Buyers are confident that numbers will remain steady over the coming weeks, but one buyer did expect to see a slight fall in numbers in a fortnights time.

Cattle Supplies

The number of beef cattle slaughtered at Department of Agriculture approved plants increased across the board for the week ending November 13.

This is primarily down to the fact that factories were back to a full working week having worked only four days during the week ending November 6 .

The total number of cattle processed for the week ending November 13 was 34,380 head, an 11.1% increase on the previous week, Department figures show.

The biggest weekly jump was seen in cull cow numbers, which increased by over 20% or 1,447 head, according to the Department.

Young bull numbers also climbed showing an increase of 472 head or 18.6% on the week before.

Meanwhile, heifers also saw a significant rise in slaughter numbers, as 8,589 head were killed during the second week in November compared to 7,290 for the week ending November 6.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:
  • Young Bulls: +472 head or +18.6%
  • Aged Bulls: +53 head or +12.8%
  • Steers: +178 head or +1.3%
  • Cows: +1,447 head or +20.3%
  • Heifers: +1299 head or +17.8%
  • Total: +3,443 head or +11.1%

Main Markets

The UK market has shown little change with demand continuing to be better for native bred stock, according to Bord Bia.

British R4L steers averaged 367.6p/kg (427.16c/kg) for the week ending November 11, prices from the AHDB (the organisation for British beef) show.

Meanwhile R3 British and Northern Irish heifers made the equivalent of 407c/kg and 393c/kg respectively.

In France trade remains steady with the colder weather helping sales, but no significant rise is expected until the Christmas period, Bord Bia reports.

French retail promotions were centered mainly on domestically produced product such as ribs, mince with some offal promotions taking place on imported product.

The Italian market has remained stationary with little change reported this week, it says.

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