Beef trade: Fight against price drop continues

Farmers are continuing to battle the storm this week, as beef prices continue to take a hit in some plants.

Heifers and steers are facing into general base quotes of €3.70/kg. However, there are reports of some finishers still achieving €3.75/kg for heifers.

It’s a further blow for finishers as the cost of feed and housing fail to see any reductions.

In terms of bonuses, a number of plants are still offering a 10c/kg Angus bonus. Meanwhile, some plants are choosing not to offer a Hereford bonus this week.

In the cow trade, €2.90-3.00/kg is the going rate for P-grades this week, while O-grades are touching down to a value of €3.05-3.10/kg. Turning to the R-grades, these are priced from €3.20/kg upwards to €3.30/kg.

Turning to the bull trade, the under 24-month-old bulls are witnessing O-grades priced at €3.50-3.60/kg, R-grades priced at €3.60-3.70/kg, while U-grades are valued at €3.70-3.80/kg.

The under 16-month-old bulls are valued at a base of €3.65-3.70/kg on the grid by procurement managers this week.

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Beef kill

The total kill for last week continued to fall behind 2020 levels for the equivalent period. The numbers of beef cattle slaughtered reached 29,780 head (excluding veal kill of 1,445 head) for the week ending February 14.

This figure is behind last year’s kill during the same week by 7,119 head (again this is excluding the veal kill).

Looking at the week-on-week kills – steers reached 10,706 head for last week, which was behind by 466 head from the previous week.

It was more or less business as usual with the weekly numbers as only an additional 44 cows were processed, as they tallied to 6,072 head.

Meanwhile, the heifer kill of 9,350 head was slightly ahead from the previous week by 89 head of females. Quickly looking at the cumulative kill for 2020 and 2021, the heifer slaughters continue to be behind by 5,489 head this year.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:

  • Steers: 10,706 head (-466 head);
  • Heifers: 9,350 head (+89 head);
  • Cows: 6,072 head (+44 head);
  • Young bulls: 3,299 head (-138 head);
  • Bulls: 353 head (-25 head);
  • Total: 29,780 head (-446 head).