Beef trade: What are processors paying for cattle this week?

Beef buyers have moved to stabilise the market somewhat over recent days and the trade has failed to lift any further.

For the most part, factory buyers are offering 350-355c/kg for steers and 355-360c/kg for heifers, with regular suppliers in the best position for the higher prices on offer.

Cow prices continue to be steady; factory buyers are currently starting negotiations with farmers at 260-270c/kg for P-grade cows, 275-280c/kg for O-grade animals and 295-300c/kg for R-grade lots.

Bull base quotes amount to 345c/kg for R grades. O-grade bulls are hovering around the 315-330c/kg mark. 350c/kg is being quoted for U-grade types.

Looking at the most recent kill numbers available (week ending December 8), steers and heifers stood at 14,863 head and 11,419 head respectively.

Cow slaughterings accounted for 8,381 head, while young bull and aged bull throughput stood at 4,617 head and 592 head respectively.

Week-on-week beef kill changes (week ending December 8):
  • Young bulls: 4,617 head (+341 head or +7.9%);
  • Bulls: 592 head (+26 head or +4.5%);
  • Steers: 14,863 head (-799 head or -5.1%);
  • Cows: 8,381 head (+291 head or +3.5%);
  • Heifers: 11,419 head (-115 head or -%);
  • Total: 39,965 head (-249 head or -0.9%).

This will be the last full working week prior to Christmas, but factories will be operating at some level of capacity next week.

Other beef-related news

Tesco has accepted an invitation from the Beef Market Taskforce and will appear at the next meeting of the taskforce after Christmas, the retail giant has confirmed.

In a brief statement to AgriLand, a spokesperson for the UK retailer noted that an invitation from Beef Market Taskforce chairman Michael Dowling has been accepted.

It is also believed that Aldi and Musgraves will also be in attendance.