Beef market report: Market steady despite cattle supply recovery

There is little or no change in prices on offer from processors this week for beef animals, despite intake at export plants recovering to more than 30,000 head.

Any price movement, although very slight, is upwards, and available mostly in areas of the country where supplies have tightened in recent weeks.

Quoted base prices for steers are 390-395 cents/kg.

Most processors are finding it difficult to source supplies at the lower end of that price range, but not many are conceding more than 395c.

The base price for heifers is 10c ahead of the steer price, with quoted prices at 400-405 cents/kg, and the pattern of trading is similar to that for the male animals in general.

However, it seems to be slightly easier to get a top-up on the quoted price for heifers.

There is no change in the trade for O/P-grade cows this week, while prices for the Rs have strengthened a shade. Prices of 315-325 cents/kg are on offer for O/P-grade cows, and the better quality Rs are making up to 350 cents/kg.

The total cattle intake increased to over 30,000 head last week, marking a recovery in supply after three consecutive shortened working weeks.

Beef cattle prices continued to ease in Britain over the past week, with R4L-grade steers slipping back equivalent to 429 cent/kg (including VAT), coming closer to prices for Irish cattle than they have for some time. 

Reports from Britain describe the beef market as remaining challenging, due to strong supplies outweighing demand levels.

In France, little change in the market was reported, while beef promotions continue, centred on domestically produced product.

In Italy, the beef market has been steady with little change in demand and wholesale prices; production is expected to ease in the coming weeks.

The latest US Department of Agriculture outlook has forecast rising US beef exports in 2016, due to a forecast 2% increase in net production.

Significant numbers of feeder cattle have been reported available, but live cattle imports have declined due to lower supplies in Canada and Mexico.


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