Factory beef price remains static, despite weekly steer kill falling 5%

Winter finishers may have breathed a sigh of relief last week, as figures from the Department of Agriculture’s beef kill data suggested that beef supplies where beginning to tighten.

The Department figures showed that the number of steers slaughtered had dropped by 5% (571 head), from the week ending February 21 compared to the week earlier.

However, the optimism was short lived as the price for steers, heifers and cows remains unchanged.

Early factory prices suggest that steers are making 390c/kg on the grid, this excludes the Quality Assurance bonus of 12c/kg.

Despite the fall in steer throughput, the number of heifers (+4%) and cows (+2%) slaughtered from the week ending February 21 compared to the week earlier had increased.

But, there has been no movement in the quotes being offered for these animals. Farmers are currently being offered 400c/kg for heifers.

There has been no changes in the prices being paid for cull cows, with R grade cows making 340c/kg, O grade cows being quoted at 310c/kg and P grade cows at 300c/kg.

Factory prices:
  • Steers – 390c/kg
  • Heifers – 400c/kg
  • R grade cows – 330c/kg
  • O grade cows – 310c/kg
  • P grade cows – 300c/kg

Beef export markets

The trade remains mixed across the key export markets for Irish beef, according to Bord Bia.

The British cattle trade has eased in recent weeks as R4L grade steers averaging 341p/kg or 431c/kg last week.

However, it reports that supply and demand continue to remain balanced in the UK, with demand best for topside cuts.

Farmer protests continue to have a negative impact on the trade in France. Some retailers have cancelled promotions of imported beef, as retail promotions focus on domestically produced beef.

Unlike France, the Italian market continues to remain stable with little change reported. There has also been no change in the wholesale prices for hinds and forequarter beef, it says.