The cattle trade is steady, with supply/demand finely balanced and finishers digging in hard and negotiating deals above the base price of €3.80 for steers and €3.90 for heifers, according to IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods.
Woods said some cattle are moving today above these prices with €3.85 paid on steers and €3.95 equivalent paid on heifers.
In addition, he said factories are covering transport and clipping charges in places to get stock.
Angus Woods said finishers are looking for a price increase as at current prices they are well below break-even.
The IFA National Livestock Chairman said bulls are making €3.70/3.80/3.90 for Os/Rs/Us. Cows are in strong demand with prices ranging from €3.05 for P+ to €3.45 and tops of €3.50 for quality U grade cows.
Last week, Bord Bia says steers were purchased at a base price of between €3.75/kg and €3.80/kg while heifers were making around €3.85/kg to €3.90/kg on the Quality Payment System.
These prices exclude the €0.12 bonus payable on in-spec QA animals. Looking at cows, O grade cow prices are generally in the range between €3.00/kg and €3.20/kg.
Cattle supplies at Irish export meat plants for the week ending January 14th totalled 32,000 head which was on a par with the corresponding week in 2016.
Steers reached over 10,000 head while heifers and young bulls stood at 9,500 and 5,000 head respectively. Cow numbers totalled over 6,000 head.
In the UK, Bord Bia says some ease in the trade was reported on the back of slower post-Christmas demand. Cattle prices from the AHDB show that GB R4L grade steers decreased in sterling terms and are averaging at 365.9 pence/kg dw this is equivalent to 423.05 cent/kg dw for the week ended January 14th.
Heifer prices for the R3 grade were making the equivalent of 412 cent/kg and 405 cent/kg for Great Britain and Northern Ireland respectively. Looking at exchange rates the euro was making 87p sterling on average during the week.
In France, Bord Bia says the market remains slow on the back of reduced demand. Trade was best for offal products with poor demand for entrecotes and steaks.
At retail level demand for imported product remains sluggish while limited promotions were on domestically produced ribs. The latest R3 young bull price was averaging at 373 cents/kg while the O3 cow price was making on average 301 cents/kg.
In Italy, little change has been reported in the market. The latest R3 young bull price was averaging at 399 cents/kg while the O3 cow price was making on average 256 cents/kg.