Beef trade: Demand leads to rise as heifer quotes reach €3.85/kg

A further demand by processors for cattle has resulted in a positive rise in quotes offered by procurement managers this week.

Heifers are now moving off a general base price of €3.80/kg, with reports of prices up to €3.85/kg achieved in some plants based on the farmer’s relationship with the factory.

This means working off a base quote of €3.80/kg for an R= grading Angus heifer (under 30-months-old, with a fat score of 3+ and no more than three farm movements) – she should achieve a quality assurance herd bonus of €0.20/kg, bringing her price up to €4.00/kg.

Adding a predicted breed bonus of €0.20/kg, her final price will potentially rise up to €4.20/kg.

Steers are generally priced at a base of €3.75/kg this week, with lower quotes of €3.70/kg still being provided. Speaking with agents, quotes mentioned of €3.80/kg for bullocks are hard achieved.

In the cow trade, P-grades are still working off a €2.90-3.00/kg base price this week, with O-grades reportedly achieving €3.10/kg.

Good quality R-grade cows are reaching from €3.20/kg up to €3.30/kg. Managers are still quoting €3.40/kg for U-grades, with these higher grades of cows reported not to be that common this week in some plants.

Quotes of €3.70/kg on the grid are available for in-spec bulls under 16-months-old. Meanwhile, slightly older bulls under 24-months-old are valued generally at €3.80/kg for U-grades, €3.70/kg for R-grades and €3.60/kg for O-grades.

Also Read: UK beef sales rocket during lockdown

Official 2020 kill

It was reported last week that the final number of cattle processed during 2020 surpassed levels recorded during 2019.

In total for 2020, the figures released by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) show that beef kills accumulated to 1,798,682 head (including veal) – which is an increase of 61,397 head or 3.5% in the level of kills from 2019.

Although, it must be noted that the department figures account for a 53-week kill period in 2020 and a 52-week kill for 2019.

Total number of cattle slaughtered 2020 versus 2019:

Young bull: 142,361 (-66,914 head or -32%);
Bull: 32,813 (-1,762 head or -5%);
Steer: 700,338 (+72,164 head or +11.5%);
Cow: 369,703 (+22,391 head or +6.4%);
Heifer: 524,841 (+20,923 head or +4.1%);
Total: 1,798,682 (+61,397 head or +3.5%).