The cattle trade remains steady this week on the back of strong demand with supplies relatively strong according to Bord Bia.

It also reports that the trade for beef remains good across our key export markets as purchasing ahead of the festive period continues.

Bord Bia says the majority of steers were purchased at a base price of around €3.90/kg on the Quality Payment System with selected lots achieving more. Heifers were being purchased on average at around €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 generally making between €3.15 to €3.30/kg.

Department of Agriculture figures show cattle supplies at export meat plants for the week ending December 13 stood at around 36,000 head, which was up 11% on the figure for the equivalent week in 2013.  Cumulative supplies for the year to date are 10% or 149,000 head above the figures for the corresponding period last year, currently standing at 1.6 million head.

In Britain, Bord Bia says reported cattle prices from the AHDB have remained similar to last week with GB R4L grade steers averaging at Stg 365.1 pence/kg dw (equivalent to 464.21 cent/kg dw) for the week ended December 13.

It says a strong trade was reported in Britain on the back of strong seasonal demand. Most cuts have seen a rise in sales with fillets moving particularly well.

In France, Bord Bia says the trade was reported as steady on the back of continued purchasing ahead of Christmas. Promotions this week have centred on steak cuts. In Italy little change was reported in the trade with demand seasonally good for higher value cuts, it says.