Early quotes from the country’s beef plants indicate that there has been little movement in the prices quoted for prime cattle, but the prices paid for cull cows have slipped slightly.

The most recent quotes from the beef plants indicate that farmers are being offered 390-395c/kg for base steers on the Quality Payment Scheme.

The prices offered for heifers also remain similar to last weeks levels with plants offering 400-405c/kg for these lots.

Cull cow prices have slipped slightly on last week’s prices by 10c/kg, with processors sitting a 340-375/kg while quotes for R grade cows stand at 340-350c/kg.

Farmers are generally being quoted 320-330c/kg for the O grade type cows while factories are offering 310-320c/kg for the plainer P grade cows.

last weeks factory beef price

Export Markets

The Brittish beef trade remains slow on the back of a sluggish demand, according to Bord Bia.

The average prices paid for R4L steers has eased and these lots made 355p/kg deadweight (495c/kg) for the week ending October 31, it says.

The demand for steaks remains slow across the British market with the best demand being for forequarter products and some round cuts which is typical for this time of year.

Bord Bia also says that there has been no major change in the French market with little sign of an upturn expected until the Christmas period.

French retail promotions are focused on domestically produced legs of Charolais and Limousin beef. The R3 young bull price was making on average €3.68/kg.

However, despite the sluggish trade reported in both the UK and France, the Italian market remains stable while the live cattle market between France and Italy is set to reopen after the recent blue tongue outbreak.

National Beef Kill Back by 71,680 head

The cumulative throughput of cattle at beef export plants has dropped by 5%, figures from the Department of Agriculture show, as total throughput currently stands at 1.32m.

As of October 26, 2015, the cumulative national beef kill was back by 71,680 head on the corresponding period in 2014.

Total heifer throughput to Irish export plants has dropped by 4% or 12,786 head to October 26, 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.

The cumulative number of steers going to factories have increased on 2014 levels by 23,732 head, with 534,069 slaughtered to date in 2015.

IFA Calls for beef Price rise

Factories need to move on prices to reflect the higher costs of housed cattle and strong returns from the marketplace, according to the IFA’s Henry Burns.

According to Burns, factories are now processing for the high demand Christmas kill and are in a position to increase prices based on strong returns from the UK market.

Burns added that strong cattle prices in the UK, coupled with a very strong Sterling is giving the factories a good return from our main export market.

British R3 steers are making 351p/kg, which is the equivalent of €5.12/kg including VAT, he said. This is despite the Irish beef price falling in Sterling terms.