For the week ending October 20th the deadweight cattle trade continues to be underpinned by increased supplies with little change in demand.
Looking at prices, in general, steers were purchased at a base price of €3.75/kg on the Quality Payment System, while the main base price payable for heifers was on average €3.85/kg. These prices exclude the €0.12 bonus payable on in-spec QA animals. Looking at cull cows, O grade cow prices are generally in the range between €3.25/kg and €3.35/kg.
Cattle supplies at Irish export meat plants for the week ending October 14th totalled over 38,000 head which was on a par with the previous week and up over 2,000 head or 7% compared to the equivalent week in 2016. Cumulative throughputs are up 6% or over 72,000 head standing at around 1.36 million head. Largest cumulative increases were seen for steers and heifers, up by 9% and 7% respectively while cull cows are up 5%. In contrast supplies of young bulls are back 6% compared to the same period in 2016. Looking at carcase weights, for the first three quarters of the year carcase weights have shown a decline of around 1% compared to 2016 levels on average for prime cattle.
In Britain, the trade has eased again this week on the back of recovering throughputs with little change in demand. In terms of prices, the AHDB report that GB R4L grade steer prices decreased and were averaging at 380.2 pence/kg dw which is the equivalent to 426.7 cent/kg for the week ending October 14th. The latest heifer prices were making on average €4.17/kg in Great Britain and €3.92/kg in Northern Ireland. Looking at exchange rates the Euro was making around 89.1p sterling.
In France, little change was reported in the market this week with demand best for domestically produced product. Looking at producer prices, the latest R3 young bull price was up 4 cent making €.3.91/kg while the cow price was steady at €3.24/kg.
In Italy, the trade remains relatively steady this week for most products. The latest R3 young bull price was making €4.05/kg on average while the cow price was up 3 cent to €2.87/kg.
Looking at global markets, in Argentina beef output continues to rise following herd rebuilding since the turn of the decade and renewed confidence in the sector. For the year to August beef output is up 8% compared to year previous levels with further growth anticipated in 2018. Exports are up 25% year on year and are being helped by stronger demand particularly from China with the Chinese market now accounting for over 40% of total beef exports from Argentina.