The beef trade continues to remain similar to previous weeks as strong supplies continues to influence the trade. This is according to Bord Bia’s latest market update.

Highlighting that demand has been relatively unchanged in our key exports markets. Bord Bia said prices quoted by export meat plants remain steady. Steers are making between €3.90 and €3.95/kg on the Quality Payment System. Heifers traded at a base price of between €3.95 and €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 were generally ranging between €2.80 to €3/kg.

In terms of throughput cattle supplies at export meat plants according to Department of Agriculture data for the week ending 12th April stood at just over 32,200 head, which was similar to the previous week. Supply was over 5,000 head or 19% higher than the equivalent week in 2013.

Cumulative supplies for the year to-date are running at around 55,000 head or 13% above the figures for the corresponding period last year. Supplies of heifers are continuing to show the strongest increase within the prime cattle category with numbers 17% higher.

In Britain, Bord Bia reported cattle prices from the AHDB were down slightly with GB R4L grade steers averaging at Stg 366.7 pence/kg dw (equivalent to 445.1 cent/kg dw) for the week ended 12th April. Good demand has been reported for burgers and steaks with the latest spell of fine weather combined with retail promotions helping to boost demand in the lead up to Easter. However, sluggish demand remains for certain forequarter cuts.

On the French market, little change was reported this week with a strong supply of competitively priced imported meat continuing to have some impact on the trade.

In Italy, there was an uplift in demand due to the coming Easter period with increased seasonal demand for hindquarter cuts reported.

Northern Ireland
According to the Livestock and Meat Commissions (LMC) latest bulletin quotes from the plants this week for U-3 grade prime cattle have remained fairly steady with plants generally quoting 326p/kg for steers and 328p/kg for heifers. Producers should consult with individual processors regarding the criteria for the 10-14p/kg bonus available for steers and heifers that kill out in spec. Quotes for O+3 cows this week ranged from 230-250p/kg with similar quotes expected for early next week.

It also noted the plants are reporting steady supplies of cattle to meet demands with 6,734 prime cattle slaughtered in NI last week. This was a ten per cent increase on the previous week when 6,130 head were slaughtered. Cow throughput last week totalled 1,429 head, an increase of 107 head (8 per cent) from the previous week.

Imports of clean cattle from ROI totalled 334 head last week and accounted for five per cent of the total NI cattle kill. There were also 17 steers and 18 cows imported from GB for direct slaughter in NI plants. Exports to ROI for direct slaughter last week consisted of 11 clean cattle and 126 cows while exports to GB for direct slaughter consisted of 127 clean cattle and 29 cows