Beef prices at the factories came under further pressure this week, following strong supplies of cattle, as deteriorating weather forced farmers to reduce stocking levels.
Most processors have reduced base prices on offer for both steers and heifers by as much as 5 cents/kg.
Base prices of 365-370 cents/kg are quoted for steers.
Quoted prices for heifers continue at a premium of 10 cents/kg over steer prices, ranging 375-380 cents/kg.
Some western farmers say they are successfully negotiating for as much as 5 cents/kg over base quotes for steers and 7-8 cents/kg over for better quality heifers, but it is more difficult to get a top-up on the quoted prices in other areas.
There has been very little change in prices on offer for cows this week. The O/P-grade cows are ranging up to 305 cents/kg, with up to 320-325 cents/kg for Rs.
There was a further increase of 600 head in the cattle supply to factories last week, despite the National Ploughing Championships, which usually reduced the supply, in past years.
Instead, the intake last week hit a year-to-date high of 35,100 head.
In sharp contrast to the Irish trade, in Britain, the trade is described as ‘robust’ on the back of ongoing supplies remaining tight, with the onset of cooler weather having led to better demand for rump while demand for other cuts is reported to be holding relatively steady.
Prices in Britain for R4L-grade steers are averaging equivalent to 449 cent/kg (including VAT, euro at 85.9p sterling).
In France, the market continues to reflect the trends evident over recent weeks of ongoing difficulty in getting imported product into retailers.
Retail promotions are focused on domestically produced mince, roasts and ribs.
In Italy, the market remained slow over the past week, while, in Germany, demand for finished cattle eased moderately with strong supplies.
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