Supplies of finished cattle to beef factories are set to be very tight this week, according to the IFA’s latest beef price update.

The latest cattle supplies at export meat plants for the week ending May 16 stood at around 29,500 head which was 8% behind supplies for the same week last year.

Cumulative supplies for the year to date are down around 3% on supplies for the corresponding period last year at around 607,000 head.

According to Bord Bia an increase of almost 50,000 head in live cattle exports in 2013 combined with a drop of more than 100,000 head in calf registrations point to a significant tightening in fnished cattle supplies this year.

IFA cattle price update
  • Steer base €4.15/kg-€4.20/kg.
  • Heifers €4.20/kg-€4.30/kg.
  • Bulls €3.90/kg-€4.05/kg-€4.20/kg-€4.30/kg.
  • Cows €3.50/kg-€4.05/kg.

Bord Bia has said the trade was relatively steady across the UK last week with a more mixed trade reported across the continent.

In Britain, reported cattle prices from the AHDB for GB R4L grade steers averaged 335.5 p/kg dw (equivalent to 468.87 c/kg) for the week ended May 16.

It says the trade was reported as relatively steady despite some ease in demand coupled with a rise in supplies. Topsides and strips were reported to be performing best.

 Bord Bia

Bord Bia

In France, Bord Bia says little change has been reported with promotions centred on chucks and diced beef. Meanwhile in Italy, little change was reported with the trade remaining slow on the back of sluggish demand due to the arrival of milder weather with strong competition also reported.

In France, the R3 young bull price was up 1c to €3.66/kg and the O3 cow price was up 2c to €3.25/kg. In Italy, the R3 young bull price was up 4c at €3.87/kg and the O3 cow price was up 11c to €2.87/kg