With a 5c/kg rise this week in the general base quotes for steers and heifers, farmers in the beef trade will hope this upward trajectory will continue to nudge prices on and surpass the €4.00/kg mark.

In the beef trade this week, the eagerness for supplies and farmer negotiating power has pushed base quotes for steers up to €3.85/kg.

Meanwhile heifers are now starting at €3.90/kg – with deals of €3.95/kg still being secured.

Flat rate deals are another option for finishers which some plants are in favour of offering when it comes to prime Angus and Hereford cattle.

Cow and bull-beef trade

Turning to the cow trade, P-grades are still priced at €3.10-3.15/kg, while O-grades are being quoted at €3.20-3.30/kg by procurement managers. The R-grades are valued upwards of €3.45/kg depending on quality and flesh.

In the bull trade, the under 24-month-old U-grades are being quoted at €3.95/kg, with R-grades being priced at €3.85/kg. The O-grades are being valued at €3.70-3.75/kg this week.

The under 16-month-old bulls are being priced around €3.85/kg.

Processors Meat MII prices edge on

Beef kill

The beef kill for the week ending April 4, reached 30,253 head (excluding a veal kill of 871 head).

The number processed has dropped week-on-week, with a reduced kill of 570 head (excluding veal).

One of the reasons behind this reduced throughput is that plants were operating four days last week due to ‘Good Friday’.

The kill continues to fall behind by 2,250 head (excluding veal) compared with the same period last year.

Overall, the cumulative throughput for 2021 shows there is a 56,414 head (excluding veal) deficit compared to the same numbers processed in 2020.

Looking at the figures from last week in more detail, the number of steers killed tallied to 11,696 head – with 586 less bullocks processed in comparison to the previous week.

Furthermore, there was a drop of 163 head of heifers slaughtered, as the total kills amounted to 9,525 head last week.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:

Steers: 11,696 head (-586 head or -4.7%);
Heifers: 9,525 head (-163 head or -1.7%);
Cows: 6,185 head (+491 head or +8.6%);
Young bulls: 2,245 head (-425 head or -16%);
Bulls: 602 head (+113 head or +23%);
Total: 30,253 head (-570 head or -1.8%).