Strong supplies coupled with steady demand continue to underpin the cattle trade for the week ending December 2nd.
In general, steers were purchased at a base price of around €3.65/kg to €3.70/kg while heifers were making between €3.75/kg and €3.80/kg on the Quality Payment System. These prices exclude the €0.12 bonus payable on in-spec QA animals. Looking at cows, O grade cow prices are generally in the range between €2.90/kg and €3.05/kg.
Cattle supplies at Irish export meat plants have maintained the upward trend of recent weeks and for the week ending November 26th totalled almost 35,000 head which was 8% higher compared to the corresponding week last year. Cumulatively, supplies of young bulls are up 29% compared to the equivalent period in 2015 while cows are up 11% on 2015 numbers. Heifers are up 3% while steers are on a par with year previous levels. Total year to date supply at export meat plants is up 5% or almost 74,000 head at around 1.49 million head.
In the UK, the market remains steady with little change in supply and demand. Reported cattle prices from the AHDB show that GB R4L grade steers were stable in sterling terms and are averaging at Stg 366.8 pence/kg dw, this is equivalent to 430.65 cent/kg for the week ended November 25th. Looking at heifers, the R3 heifer was making 422 cent/kg in Britain and 409 cent/kg in Northern Ireland. The euro has weakened again this week and was making around 86p sterling on average during the week.
In France the trade has shown little change with lower market demand for steak cuts with offal performing best. Retail promotions were centred mainly on domestically produced product such as ribs and steaks. The R3 young bull price was unchanged making on average €3.62/kg while the O3 cow price was down 1c making €2.96/kg on average.
In Italy the market has shown little change with demand relatively weak while trade was best for lower value forequarter cuts. The R3 young bull price was making on average €3.86/kg while the O3 cow price was €2.57/kg on average.
Looking at global markets, in Argentina exports for January to October 2016 are up 10% year on year with China the main market in volume terms followed by Chile and Israel.