For the week ending August 18th the deadweight cattle trade eased further on the back of recovering supplies coupled with the negative impact of currency fluctuations.
Looking at prices, in general, steers were purchased at a base price of between €3.85/kg and €3.90/kg on the Quality Payment System, while the main base price payable for heifers was on average between €3.95/kg and €4.00/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 €3.30/kg and €3.45/kg.
Cattle supplies at Irish export meat plants for the week ending August 11th reached over 31,000 head which was up around 2% compared to the equivalent week last year. Cumulative throughputs are up 5% or 51,000 head standing at around 1.03 million head. Largest cumulative increases were seen for cull cows which are up 9% year on year followed by steers and heifers up by 8% and 5% respectively. In contrast supplies of young bulls are back 8% compared to the same period in 2016. Looking at carcase weights the latest carcase data for the first seven months of the year are back just over 1% compared to the same period last year.
In Britain, the trade remains relatively steady this week with little change in prices while demand and supply is finely balanced. The AHDB report that GB R4L grade steer prices are steady and averaging at 384.9 pence/kg dw which is the equivalent to 424.33 cent/kg for the week ending August 4th. The latest heifer prices were making on average €4.23/kg in Great Britain and €4.11/kg in Northern Ireland. Looking at exchange rates the Euro sterling exchange rate seen some further fluctuation this week with €1 making around 91p sterling. Meanwhile, according to the AHDB calf registrations for the first half of the year are back 1% compared to 2016 levels which is the first time since 2013 that there has been a decrease in calf registrations between January and June. This has been driven by lower dairy bred calf registrations for both male and females while in contrast beef bred calves have shown an increase. Angus bred registrations continue to grow while Limousin remains the most dominant beef breed.
In France, the market was quiet this week on the back of the holiday season which sees a number of restaurants and butcher shops close. Trade has held for bavettes and ribs of beef while demand for offal products remains slow. There are a limited number of promotions taking place in retailers on rump and shank produced in France. The latest R3 young bull price was up 3 cent making €3.81/kg on average while the cow price was up 4 cent making €3.29/kg.
In Italy, little change has been reported in the market this week with trade relatively steady. The latest R3 young bull price was making €4.08/kg on average while the cow price was making €2.74/kg.