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Cattle Trade & Prices

Date: 24/10/2014 

With grass finished cattle reaching their seasonal peak, last weeks kill reached its highest level of the year at over 35,000 head. As UK retailers are now laying down stocks for pre-Christmas promotions, there has been some more demand for in-spec cattle.

There has been little change in prices in the last week. The majority of steers were purchased at a base price of €3.65/kg on the Quality Payment System with selected lots making up to €3.70/kg. Heifers were being purchased on average at €3.70/kg with selected lots of heifers making up to €3.75/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 €3.25/kg.

Cattle supplies at export meat plants for the week ending 18th October stood at 35,736 head, which was up 9% on the figure for the equivalent week in 2013. Cumulative supplies for the year to-date are 11% or 132,884 head above the figures for the corresponding period last year currently standing at 1.33 million head. Throughput of prime cattle is up by 10%.

In Britain, reported cattle prices from the AHDB have increased with GB R4L grade steers averaging at Stg 360.6 pence/kg dw (equivalent to 480 cent/kg dw) for the week ended 18th October. Trade has seen some change with retailers focusing on round cut promotions ahead of Christmas, which has in turn seen demand for steak cuts and forequarter cuts slow.

In France the market continues to remain steady with some promotions focused on steak cuts.

  • In France the R3 young bull price was down 2c to €3.60/kg and the O3 cow price was down 6c to €3.13/kg.
  • In Italy the R3 young bull price was down 15c to €3.67/kg and the O3 cow price was down 5c to €2.7/kg


Ireland Meat Plant Prices(€/kg dw excluding VAT)

Week Ending % Change Average to Date % Ch
Cattle 19.10.2013 18.10.2014 Prev.Week Prev.Year 2013 2014
Steers O3 3.68 3.34 0.6 -9.2 3.94 3.51 -10.9
O4 3.68 3.35 0.3 -9.0 3.95 3.53 -10.6
R3 3.89 3.56 0.3 -8.5 4.12 3.70 -10.2
R4 3.87 3.53 0.3 -8.8 4.11 3.68 -10.5
U3 4.02 3.67 0.3 -8.7 4.21 3.79 -10.0
Young Bulls O3 3.61 3.24 0.6 -10.2 3.84 3.22 -16.1
R3 3.81 3.53 0.3 -7.3 4.05 3.51 -13.3
U3 3.92 3.67 1.4 -6.4 4.13 3.61 -12.6
Heifers O3 3.81 3.44 0.9 -9.7 4.10 3.60 -12.2
O4 3.79 3.45 1.2 -9.0 4.09 3.61 -11.7
R3 4.00 3.63 0.6 -9.2 4.30 3.80 -11.6
R4 3.98 3.61 0.6 -9.3 4.29 3.78 -11.9
Cows O3 3.17 3.05 1.0 -3.8 3.34 2.90 -13.2
O4 3.19 3.07 1.3 -3.8 3.36 2.91 -13.4
R3 3.46 3.27 0.6 -5.5 n.a. n.a. n.a.