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Irish Meat Price Dynamics

07 June 2019

Joe Burke, Senior Manager Meat & Livestock, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board



There was a total kill of 34,849 head for week ending the 3rd June was an increase of 403 on the previous week. This figure was 2,863 head higher than the same week in 2018. At 767,716 head, year-to-date slaughtering’s are 6% or 43,292 head above the equivalent period in 2018. The categories of young bulls (+17%), heifers (+11%) have recorded the most growth, steers are down(1.5%) while cows are more or less on a par with 2018 levels.


Base prices are unchanged this week, remaining at €3.90 for steers and €4.00 for heifers. These exclude the €0.12 bonus payable on in-spec QA animals.


The average price paid for R3 steers for week ending 3rd June, as recorded by the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, also saw little no to no change, quoted at €3.88/kg excluding VAT (or equivalent to €4.09/kg including VAT).

Cull cow prices remain strong this week, with quotes for fleshed O grade cows averaging out at around €3.15.



Prices for R3 steers quoted in Great Britain for week ended 3rd June are £3.55/kg or equivalent to €4.01, this is a reduction of around £0.03 for the second consecutive week.

There was no change in the price quoted this week for Young Bulls in France, remaining at €3.76, while O3 cow prices were €0.08/kg up on last week at €3.33/kg.

In Italy, Young Bull prices fell by €0.25/kg to €3.53

While the Germany Young Bull price also fell, by €0.05/kg to reach €3.46/kg.


Live Exports

This week saw a total of 5,117  calves exported, again the majority went to Netherlands (1,640), Spain (2,423) and Italy (606). Total exports for the week were 6,518 this included 510 weanlings, 559 stores and 332 finished cattle. This leaves Ireland’s total exports for 2019 at 205,888 (up 29%). While Calves are very much the main driving force behind this(up nearly 40,000 on 2018), finished cattle also saw a 51% increase from a lower base, stores (31%) and weanling exports(20%) have all seen good increases compared with 2018 figures for this period. Netherlands has seen an 79% increase in total exports compared with the equivalent YTD figures from 2018 and Spain has seen a 12% increase. Exports to Northern Ireland have effectively doubled from what they were at this time last year. While Belgian and French exports have seen slight reductions  so far this year.





The sheep trade continues to hold firm this week following the recent decline, prices have seen no real change from last week with quotes tending to be in the  €5.50-€5.60/kg range. The prices being quoted for hoggets have seen a slight improvement across the board, with most securing around €4.35/kg to €4.50/kg. DAFM reports the national average sheep price as €4.91/kg, which represents a 9% decrease compared with the same period in 2018.

A total of 62,610 sheep were slaughtered for the week commencing 27/05/2019, compared to 53,608 in the same week of 2018. Sheep slaughterings for 2019 are 7% down on 2018 at 1,039,371 head




The Grade E Pig price for week commencing 27/05/2019 was €168.40 per 100Kg compared to €140.48 in the same week last year, which represents a 20% increase. 66,080 pigs were slaughtered in week 22 of which 1,616 were sows. The cumulative figure for pig slaughterings in 2019 is 1,436,601 which is a 1% decrease with the same point last year.