Beef trade: Prices stagnant as ‘high supply’ of cattle available

It seems to be a repetitive lyric in the beef trade, but prices for steers and heifers are experiencing no change this week.

Processors continue to quote €3.60/kg for steers, while heifers are still being priced at €3.60-3.65/kg. Factories are stating they are predicting no cattle shortage for the coming weeks.

With an increase in cow numbers being brought forward for slaughter, there are indications that the cow trade is going to take a setback in price in the coming weeks.

They are, however, still being quoted with similar prices compared to last week as P-grade cows are being priced at €2.80-2.90/kg. O-grades are remaining around a €3.00/kg price, with R-grades settling for €3.10-3.15/kg. U-grading cows are back 10c/kg with some processors, as prices being quoted are closer to €3.20/kg, although prices of €3.30/kg are still being achieved.

Under 24-month-old bulls are still receiving €3.50/kg for R-grades and €3.60/kg for U-grades, provided they are in-spec. A price of €3.50-3.60/kg is continuing to be quoted for under 16-month-old bulls on the grid.

There were a total of 37,143 head of cattle processed last week, which resulted in a decrease of 520 head in the number of cattle slaughtered in comparison to the previous week’s figure.

Northern Ireland Trade

The Livestock & Meat Commission (LMC) has stated that prime U-3 grading animals were selling at £3.54-3.60/kg (€3.91-3.98/kg) for the week ending October 25.

Prime R-3 grading cattle were trading at £3.48-3.54/kg (€3.85-3.91/kg), provided they are in-spec. These prices include bonuses where applicable.

Average prices for O+3 grading cows and better were last week priced at £2.60-2.80/kg (€2.87-3.10/kg). It should be noted that these cow prices vary depending on weight and grade.