The cattle trade mains relatively steady this week as strong demand matches the increase in supplies that has been evident during the past few weeks. Demand for cattle across the different categories remains strong, with trade for in-spec cattle reportedly attracting higher prices.
Base prices quoted for R grade steers under the Quality Payment System were generally making around €4.40 to €4.50/kg, while quotes for heifers were generally making between €4.60 and €4.70/kg. However, the average price paid by export meat plants has increased as a result of the in-spec QA bonus being doubled from 6 cent to 12 cent per kilogram. O-grade cull cows are making between €3.65 and €3.80/kg.
Cattle supplies at export meat plants for the week ending 18th May stood at 27,200 head, which was 3,300 head higher than the same week in 2012. To date this year, cattle supplies are running 46,300 head higher compared to last year's levels. The majority of the increase in availability to date this year is evident in the steer and cow category.
In the UK, trade is reportedly unchanged on previous week's trading as market demand remains steady. Demand for steak cuts remains weaker than usual as some resistance towards recent price rises continues to affect consumer purchasing behaviour. Some slowdown in demand for round cuts is also still evident. While trade for forequarter continues to remain steady.
Reported cattle prices from the AHDB firmed during the past week, with GB R4L grade steers averaging Stg 406.4 pence/kg dw (Equivalent to 474 cent/kg dw) for the week ended 18th May.
On the Continent, trade remained firm across most markets during the week. Overall, trade continues to be helped by on-going tight supplies across the different key export markets. Strong demand is evident for hindquarter product, with best trade for fillets and striploins.
- In Italy, the R3 young bull is making €3.84/kg, while the O3 cow is making €3.12/kg
- In France, the R3 young bull is making €3.87, while the O3 cow is making €3.77/kg.