The cattle trade continues to remain steady for the week ending June 23rd on the back of good demand and little change in supply.
Looking at prices, in general, steers were purchased at a base price of €4.10/kg on the Quality Payment System, while the main base price payable for heifers was on average €4.20/kg with selected lots of steers and heifers achieving higher prices. 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 €3.35/kg and €3.50/kg.
Cattle supplies at Irish export meat plants for the week ending June 17th reached over 34,000 head. This throughput was around 4,000 head above the equivalent week in 2016. Cumulative throughputs are up 5% or 34,000 head standing at around 769,000 head. Largest cumulative increases were seen for cull cows which are up 13% year on year followed by steers and heifers up by 5% and 3% respectively. In contrast supplies of young bulls are back 7% compared to the same period in 2016.
In Britain, the trade remains strong this week on the back of good demand arising from recent good weather which has helped trade for barbeque products such as steak and burgers while supplies of finished cattle are tight. This has helped prices and the AHDB report that GB R4L grade steers are averaging at 374.3 pence/kg dw which is the equivalent to 424.58 cent/kg for the week ending June 17th. Looking at heifer prices, in Northern Ireland the R3 grade price equates to €4.22/kg (excl VAT) while the equivalent price in Britain was making €4.22/kg. Looking at exchange rates the Euro is currently making around 88p Sterling which is making our product more expensive in the UK.
In France, the market remains slow this week on the back of lower demand arising from an ease in consumption due to the recent heatwave. Beef promotions are ongoing at retail level with most promotions seen on domestically produced items such as bavettes, striploins, rump and chuck. Looking at prices, French R3 young bulls were up 1c at €3.73/kg while the O3 cow price increased 2c and averaged at €3.29/kg.
In Italy, the market remains slower as consumption eased during the recent hot weather in particular for slow cooking cuts. Italian R3 young bulls were steady at €3.97/kg while O3 cows in Italy were up 6c making around €2.87/kg. Meanwhile in Germany, the market for prime cattle is relatively balanced while supplies of cull cows are tight.