Cattle supplies at Irish export meat plants for the week ending October 9 totalled 31,327 head, which was 10% or over 3,700 head less than the same week last year.

In particular, supplies of steers and heifers have tightened further in recent weeks with cumulative supplies of young bulls and cull cows also down significantly.

Total throughput for the year to-date is 1.22 million head, which represents a decline of 5% or 64,000 head on last year’s levels.

Source: Bord Bia

Source: Bord Bia

Cattle Trade

Despite the lower throughput quotes from factories this week suggest little change in the beef trade with farmers encouraged to bargain hard to get the most out of factory agents.

The finished cattle trade remains relatively steady in recent weeks, on the back of reduced supply of prime cattle. With weather conditions still favourable, industry sources suggest farmers appear in no rush to offload cattle and the throughput of cattle so far this autumn has been very ‘orderly’.

Latest quotes from beef plants suggest that this week steers will be generally purchased at an average base price of between €3.85/kg and €3.90/kg on the Quality Payment System. Meanwhile, the base price payable for heifers will generally be around €3.95/kg – €4.00/kg.

Similar to last week the majority of beef processors are sitting at 350c/kg for R grade cows while at present, factories are offering 340-345c/kg for the plainer O grade dairy type cows, while farmers are being offered 330-335c/kg for the P type lots.