Beef trade: Protests continue at factory gates

Farmers are continuing to protest outside the gates of certain beef processing plants, and the latest kill figures from the department of agriculture’s beef kill database indicate that just over 34,185 cattle were slaughtered during the week ending August 25 – a decrease of 3,857 head from the previous week’s kill.

At the moment, general quotes hover around the 345c/kg mark for steers and 350c/kg for heifers; but, a number of plants are also quoting 350c/kg and 355c/kg for bullocks and heifers respectively.

Moving to the cow trade, P-grading cows are making 280-285c/kg, with O-grades hovering around the 290-300c/kg mark. In addition, R-grades are achieving 320c/kg in the beef factories, while U-grading cows are making north of 330c/kg.

Factory agents are quoting in the region of 340-350c/kg for R-grade bulls and procurement managers are quoting upwards of 345-355c/kg for U-grades. O-grade bulls are hovering around the 310-330c/kg mark; under-16 month bull prices are 340c/kg.

As mentioned above, figures from the department of agriculture’s beef kill database show that some 34,188 cattle were slaughtered – a decrease of 3,857 head on the week before. Much of this decrease can be attributed to 2,710 fewer bullocks slaughtered that week.

Week-on-week beef kill changes (week ending August 25):
  • Young bulls: 2,886 head (-63 head or -2%);
  • Bulls: 754 head (+9 head or +1%);
  • Steers: 14,875 head (-2,710 head or -15%);
  • Cows: 6,541 head (-17 head or -0.2%);
  • Heifers: 9,073 head (-1,100 head or -11%);
  • Total: 34,188 head (-3,587 head or -10%).

Yearly supplies are sitting at 1,160,025 head – an increase of 25,543 head up to and including the week ending August 25.

Increases have been witnessed in all categories with the exception of steers and cows. The number of young bulls slaughtered jumped by 16,824 head, while aged bulls increased by 4,683 head.

In addition, yearly supplies of steers decreased by 14,525 head and cows decreased by 13,361 head. Moving to heifers, the number of these animals presented for slaughter jumped by 28,413 head.

Yearly supplies (week ending August 25):
  • Young bulls: 157,910 head (+16,824 head or +12%);
  • Bulls: 26,016 head (+4,683 head or +22%);
  • Steers: 387,552 head (-14,525 head or -4%);
  • Cows: 238,140 head (-13,361 head or -5%);
  • Heifers: 337,294 head (+28,413 head or +9%);
  • Total: 1,160,025 head (+25,543 head or +2%).

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