Cattle & Beef:
A total of 38,192 cattle were processed during the week ended 14th December 2019, which was down 461 animals for the same period in 2018. It was also a decrease on last week’s figure by 1,773 animals.
Up to the week ending 14th December, a total of 1,692,768 cattle have been sent for processing this year. This figure is still running behind the figure for the same period 12 months ago by 4% or 60,852 head.
Steer throughput for 2019 is lagging behind the 2018 figure by 7%, (-41,810). Cull cow throughput is down by some 48,155 head on the same period last year. Heifer supplies however is up 4% on 2018, (+16,931), while the young bull throughput figure continues to run 3% above the figure for the same time period in 2018. (+5,504)
Base prices being offered this week in Ireland have seen a slight lift in the right direction, with quotes rising to €3.50/kg for steers and €3.55/kg for heifers. These prices are exclusive of the various “in-spec” bonuses. This represents a 20c/kg decrease on the same week last year.
Cow prices have started to increase on last week, with P grade cows getting quotes of €2.55-€2.70/kg, whilst O grade cows are receiving quotes of €2.70-€2.90/kg. R Grade cows are receiving 10c/kg above this again.
The average price paid for R3 steers for week ending 14th December 2019, as recorded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, stood at €3.48/kg for R3 steers, and €3.58/kg for R3 heifers. Note that these prices were VAT exclusive.
Prices for cattle quoted in Britain held for the week ended 14th December, with prices of £3.37/kg being quoted for R3 steers and £3.36/kg heifers. This results in a price of €3.95/kg excluding VAT. UK prices are being boosted in euro terms by the strengthening in sterling, with the euro now worth 84p sterling compared to 3 months ago. EU average R3 young bull prices averaged €3.64/kg excluding VAT, which is 15c/kg ahead of Irish R3 steer prices.
The Irish composite cattle price for week ending 14th December stood at €3.21/kg deadweight excluding VAT, compares to an export benchmark price of €3.44/kg.
Live Cattle Exports:
Live export figures for the week ending 14th December, (week 50) were below the week previous, with 3,276 animals being shipped.
On a year to date basis, a total of 295,097 beef animals have been sent for live export. This represents a 20% increase in exports compared to the same period 12 months ago. Calves have represented over 70% of these shipments, with Spain and the Netherlands importing 60% of all Irish live exports.
Export destinations for the week were as follows: Italy, (129), Spain, (341), Northern Ireland, (1,018), Scotland, (3), Turkey, (1,688), Netherlands, (37) and Morocco, (60)