Beef trade steady despite high kill

Trade remains steady this week despite throughput levels continuing to remain at elevated levels. This is according to Bord Bia’s latest market update where it also noted demand is reported as steady across our key exports markets.

Focusing on prices Bord Bia says, a base price of around €3.90 to €3.95/kg continues to be paid for the majority of steers purchased recently on the Quality Payment System. Heifers are trading at a base price of between €3.95 to €4.00/kg. These prices exclude the €0.12/kg bonus which is payable on in-spec QA animals. Prices paid for O grade cull cows are continuing to make between €2.80 to €3.00/kg.

In Britain, trade remained steady over the past week. Better weather conditions has boosted demand for steak cuts, this trend is expected to continue in the run up to the Easter break. Reported cattle prices from the AHDB remain steady with GB R4L grade steers averaging at Stg 372.5 pence/kg dw (equivalent to 450.4 cent/kg dw) for the week ended 22nd March.

On the French market, the beef trade was reported as steady for the week. Demand for BBQ cuts such as entrecotes and bavettes has remained steady, while the seasonal slowdown in demand for products like chucks, tongues and skirts has continued. However, there continues to be a strong supply of product from Netherlands and Germany available at competitive prices. In Italy, the market is subdued in response to weak consumer demand.

Northern Ireland

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission this week the factories were quoting 322-328p/kg for U-3 grade prime cattle and it is likely that similar quotes will be available next week. Throughput has come under pressre at the plants in recent weeks with reports that better prices are being made for good loads of heifers where producers are shopping around for deals. Factories are quoting 230-250p/kg for O+3 cows.

With numbers tightening the prices reported by the factories for last week were firm. R3 steer prices in Northern Ireland were up by 3p/kg, to 341p/kg. R3 heifer prices fell by 1p/kg. In GB last week, the trade came under a small degree of pressure. R3 steer and heifer prices across GB were down by 1p/kg.