Steady demand and strong supplies continue to underpin the cattle trade for the week ending October 21st with a stronger euro continuing to affect the competitiveness of our exports.
In general, steers were purchased at a base price of between €3.65/kg and €3.70/kg while heifers were making between €3.70/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 for the week ending October 15th were just under 36,000 head which was around 14% or over 4,000 head 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 8% on 2015 numbers. Heifers are up 1% while steers are on a par with year previous levels. Total year to date supply at export meat plants is up 5% or over 55,000 head at around 1.28 million head.
In Britain, demand remains firm following a recovery in supplies. Reported cattle prices from the AHDB show that GB R4L grade steers are averaging at Stg 367.7 pence/kg dw (equivalent to 412 cent/kg dw) for the week ended 15th October. Looking at heifers, the R3 heifer was making Stg 361.6 pence/kg dw which equates to 405 cent/kg. The euro was making on average around 89p sterling during the week and is running 10% stronger for the year to date compared to the same period last year. Looking at throughputs recent figures released from Defra has shown a 3% rise in prime cattle throughputs for the month of September.
Little change was reported in the market across the continent. Looking at global markets, the latest USDA global outlook is pointing towards a rise in world beef production on the back of higher supplies in the main exporting regions such as the US and Mercosur. Brazil is forecast to consolidate its position as the largest global beef exporter next year with exports forecast to rise by 5% while China is anticipated to increase imports by over 15% on the back of rising consumption.