Beef trade: Cattle prices still under pressure

The latest kill figures from the department of agriculture’s beef kill database indicate that just over 34,600 cattle were slaughtered during the week ending June 23 – a slight increase from the previous week’s kill.

At the moment, general quotes hover around the 375c/kg mark for steers and 385c/kg for heifers; but, a number of plants are also quoting 370c/kg and 380c/kg for bullocks and heifers respectively.

Moving to the cow trade, P-grading cows are making 290c/kg, with O-grades hovering around the 300c/kg mark. In addition, R-grades are achieving 320c/kg upwards in the beef factories.

Factory agents are quoting in the region of 370-375c/kg for R-grade bulls and procurement managers are quoting upwards of 380c/kg for U-grades. O-grade bulls are hovering around the 350c/kg mark and slightly higher in some beef processing plants.

As mentioned above, figures from the department of agriculture’s beef kill database show that some 34,606 cattle were slaughtered last week – an increase of just 132 head on the week before. This increase can be attributed to 1,031 extra heifers and 231 cows processed last week.

However, all other categories witnessed a decline in supplies.

Week-on-week beef kill changes (week ending June 23):
  • Young bulls: 4,774 head (-510 head or -9%);
  • Bulls: 787 head (-208 head or +20%);
  • Steers: 10,517 head (-428 head or +3.9%);
  • Cows: 8,306 head (+231 head or +2.8%);
  • Heifers: 10,160 head (+1,031 head or +11.2%);
  • Total: 34,606 head (+132 head or +0.4%).

Yearly supplies are sitting at 868,607 head – an increase of 44,227 head up to and including the week ending June 23. Increases have been witnessed in all categories with the exception of steers and cows. The number of young bulls slaughtered jumped by 15,382 head, while aged bulls increased by 4,309 head.

In addition, yearly supplies of steers decreased by 5,291 head and cows decreased by 107 head. Moving to heifers, the number of these animals presented for slaughter jumped by 25,794 head.

Yearly supplies (week ending June 23):
  • Young bulls: 125,661 head (+15,382 head or +13.9%);
  • Bulls: 19,631 head (+4,309 head or +28.1%);
  • Steers: 275,536 head (-5,291 head or -1.8%);
  • Cows: 177,089 head (-107 head or -0.06%);
  • Heifers: 257,975 head (+25,794 head or +11.1%);
  • Total: 868,607 head (+44,227 head or +5.3%).

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