In the beef trade this week, the reduced kill-days due to the bank holiday seems to be taking the pressure off factories slightly, in terms of sourcing supplies.

Although, the message from speaking with agents moving into next week is to hoover up what is out there, as processors remain anxious.

In terms of prices being quoted this week, bullocks are receiving quotes mainly around the €4.10/kg marker rather than €4.05/kg.

Heifers are being priced from €4.15/kg – with deals of up to €4.20/kg also secured in cases. Some plants were trying to offer a stagnant €4.10/kg for heifers.

When speaking with one procurement manager, they highlighted that cows are becoming more easier to source over the past few days.

This is due to farmers deciding to shift their problem cows and finally take advantage of the jump in quotes over the past two weeks. The grass supply shortage would also be bringing more cull cows onto the scene.

This week, we are continuing to see the good quality R-grading beef cows with a nice cover of flesh being quoted at €3.80/kg, and even up to €3.85/kg.

O-grades are still fetching between €3.50-3.60/kg, while P-grades are priced at €3.30-3.40/kg.

Bull-beef trade

Improvements are being seen again in the bull-beef trade as under 24 month-old males are now priced at €4.10/kg for U-grades, with up to €4.20/kg also available at some plants. The R-grades are valued at €4.00-4.05/kg, while O-grades are selling upwards of €3.90/kg.

The under-16-month-old bull is being quoted at €4.00-4.05/kg.

Beef kill

The beef kill for the week ending May 1, reached 28,404 head (excluding a veal kill of 383 head).

The number processed has dropped week-on-week, with a reduced kill of 1,732 head (excluding veal).

Looking at the cumulative kill, up to the week ending May 1, a total of 516,579 head of cattle (excluding veal) has been slaughtered in 2021.

The deficit in year-on-year supplies is continuing and is now hitting 45,130 head (excluding veal).

Looking at the figures from last week in more detail, the number of steers killed tallied to 10,916 head – with 579 head less bullocks processed in comparison to the previous week.

The throughput of heifers also suffered a drop, where there was 461 head less slaughtered week-on-week as the total kills amounted to 8,600 head last week.

Cull cow numbers suffered one of the biggest drops in week-on-week figures, as 646 head less were presented for slaughter.

  • Steers: 10,916 head (-579 head or -5.3%);
  • Heifers: 8,600 head (-461 head or -5%);
  • Cows: 6,107 head (-646 head or -9.5%);
  • Young bulls: 2,275 head (+92 head or +4.2%);
  • Bulls: 507 head (-137 head or -21%);
  • Total: 28,404 head (-1,732 head or -5.7%).