Little change has been reported in the cattle trade for the week ending July 22nd with a stronger Euro continuing to affect our competitiveness.
In general, steers were purchased at a base price of around €3.85/kg and heifers making €3.95/kg on the Quality Payment System, with selected lots gaining higher returns. These prices exclude the €0.12 bonus payable on in-spec QA animals. Looking at cows, O grade cow prices are now generally in the range between €2.90/kg and €3.05/kg.
Cattle supplies at Irish export meat plants for the week ending July 17th reached just under 30,000 head which was 2% higher compared to the corresponding week last year. Cumulatively, supplies of young bulls remain up 30% compared to the equivalent period in 2015 while cows are up 3% on 2015 numbers. Heifers remain on a par with year previous levels and steers are back 2%. Total year to date supply at export meat plants is up 3% at almost 858,000 head. Latest prime cattle carcase weights for the first half of the year are showing a rise of over 1%.
In Britain, the trade continues to reflect demand outweighing current supply level with good weather maintaining demand. For the week ending July 17th the AHDB report that average prices for R4L grade steers and heifers were making around Stg 345.5p/kg and Stg 334.8p/kg. In euro the British steer price is now equivalent to around €4.05/kg, while the latest Northern Irish R3 steer price equates to €3.92/kg (excl VAT) with the euro making 84p in sterling terms this week.
In France the market remains unchanged with retailers buying domestically produced beef and difficulties remain in getting imported product into the retail market. Promotions are in the main multiples focusing on domestically produced products such as mince and rump steaks. The French R3 young bull price was up 4c at €3.53/kg while the O3 cow price was up 5c at €3.10/kg.
In Italy, the market remains slow with little upturn in consumption reported. The R3 young bull price was unchanged averaging €3.80/kg while the O3 cow price was making €2.55/kg.