There was a increase of 738 head in the cattle kill to total 31,560 head for week ending the 6th of May. This figure was 337 head more than the same week in 2018. At 635,877 head, year-to-date slaughterings are 6% or 36,132 head above the equivalent period in 2018. Young bulls (+19%) and heifers (+11%) are the categories that have seen the most growth, while steers(-1%) and cows( -2%)have remained more or less on a par with last year.

Prices continue to reflect this tight supply, creeping up once again this year. Base prices are now at €3.85/kg for steers, and €3.95/kg for heifers in the majority of cases, €0.05/kg more than last week. Higher prices are reportedly available for Angus cattle. These exclude the €0.12 bonus payable on in-spec QA animals.

The average price paid for R3 steers for week ending 6th May, as recorded by the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, has seen a slight increase of around  €0.04/kg this week to €3.74/kg excluding VAT (or equivalent to €3.94/kg including VAT).

Base prices for cull cows have seen more improvement this week, with quotes for fleshed O grade cows ranging anywhere from €2.95 and up to €3.00 per kilo.

In Britain, for the week ending 6th May  the average R3 steer saw a £0.04/kg increase £3.53/kg, in Euro terms prices rose marginally to €4.10/kg (excl VAT).

In France, the average R3 young bull price saw a €0.01 decrease for the second week in a row at €3.76/kg, while O3 cows saw a small decrease this week falling €0.01 to €3.22/kg.

In Italy, the average R3 young bull price saw a €0.07/kg fall this week to €4.11/kg.

In the German market, the average R3 young bull price recovered another €0.02/kg to €3.60/kg.

Live Exports

This week saw a total of 9,171  calves exported, again the majority went to Netherlands (3,940), Spain (3,847), France(215) and  Italy (710). Total exports for the week were 13,060 with stores(2,441) and finished cattle 1,017 making up the majority of the remainder. This leaves Ireland’s total exports for 2019 to date at 176,132 (up 38%), and total calf exports at 143,153 (up 33%). While Calves are very much the main driving force behind this, finished cattle also saw a nearly 60% increase from a lower base and weanling exports are 15% greater than 2018 figures. Libya was the destination for 2,339 animals, mainly stores, this market now accounts for more than half of our live exports to international markets in 2019, with more activity expected in international markets in the coming weeks.