The cattle trade remains strong for the week ending December 1st on the back of a seasonal increase in demand while supplies are continuing to rise.
Looking at prices, in general, steers were purchased at a base price of around €3.90/kg on the Quality Payment System, while the main base price payable for heifers was making €4.00/kg on average with selected lots 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 €3.25/kg and €3.40/kg.
Cattle supplies at Irish export meat plants for the week ending November 25th totalled almost 40,000 head which was the highest throughput so far this year and up 14% or almost 5,000 head higher compared to the corresponding week in 2016. Cumulative throughputs are up 6% or over 91,000 head standing at around 1.59 million head. Largest cumulative increases were seen for steers and heifers, up by 9% and 7% respectively while cull cows are up 5%. In contrast supplies of young bulls are back 3% compared to the same period in 2016.
In Britain, the trade continues to be underpinned by stronger seasonal demand ahead of the festive period coupled with an increase in supply. In terms of prices, the AHDB report that GB R4L grade steer prices increased again and were averaging at 379.7 pence/kg dw which is the equivalent to 426.57 cent/kg for the week ending November 25th. In terms of heifers, the latest R3 heifer price in Britain was making €4.30/kg on average while in Northern Ireland the latest price was making €4.04/kg. Looking at exchange rates the Euro was steady, making around 88.8p sterling on average.
In France, the market was reported as challenging due to slower demand with increased domestic supplies and competitively priced imported cow beef negatively impacting the market. Trade was best for forequarters due to the colder weather while fillets and cheeks are steady. In contrast demand for tongues and thick skirts has decreased. There are an abundance of retail promotions taking place this week particularly for domestically produced mince, steaks and roasting joints. In terms of prices the latest R3 young bull price was steady making €3.98/kg on average while the O3 cow price was down 5 cent to €3.13/kg.
In Italy, a more buoyant trade was reported on the back of some increase in demand. Looking at producer prices, the latest R3 young bull price was making €4.24/kg on average while the O3 cow price was generating €2.92/kg. Meanwhile, in Germany a relatively stable market was reported.