Farmers are resisting unjustified lower quotes from factories for cattle this week, according to the IFA which says processors are attempting to push prices under the €3.70/kg barrier.

It says that reports from across the country are saying that some farmers have been quoted as low as €3.65/kg base for steers and heifers. The IFA says its members are being quoted €3.70/-3.75/kg base for steer and heifers. It highlights that the Russian ban should not impact on beef price. This sentiment is also shared by ICSA president Patrick Kent who has warned processors that the Russian ban on imports cannot justify any price cuts for beef.

“The reality is that the export ban will have minimal impact on Irish exports. To a large extent, the ban impacts most on east European countries and primarily affects pigmeat and dairy products. Farmers need to take a tougher line on beef price as the beef throughput remains under 30,000 a week and the reality is that beef supplies are likely to tighten in the medium term.”

Bord Bia’s latest market update says the cattle trade has come under pressure in recent days due to a further increase in throughput levels at export meat plants. It says there was a further dampening in demand across our key export markets due to the holiday period.

Cattle supplies at export meat plants for the week ending 1st August stood at around 29,000 head, which was 3% higher than the equivalent week in 2013. Cumulative supplies for the year to-date are running at over 104,000 head or 12% above the figures for the corresponding period last year. Cumulative supply of heifers are up by around 15% on the corresponding period last year with steers and young bulls 15% and 13% higher respectively.

Bord Bia says in Britain, reported cattle prices from the AHDB have seen some increase with GB R4L grade steers averaging at Stg 343.9 pence/kg dw (equivalent to 433.1 cent/kg dw) for the week ended 2nd August. Trade was reported as remaining slow with VL’s continuing to struggle.

On the Continent few changes have been reported in the trade. In France the R3 young bull price was up 2c to €3.69/kg and the O3 cow price was up 2c €3.43/kg In Italy the R3 young bull price was up 11c to €3.95/kg and the O3 cow price was down 1c to €2.70/kg