If a certain Danish lager did back ends, it would probably be 2021 in terms of autumn weather.
After a slight blip last week, there has been another mainly dry week this week, which is textbook stuff when it comes to managing autumn grass on farms.
While a lot of finishing cattle have been housed in the west and northwest, down south it’s a different story, with cattle remaining out and no real pressure coming on to sell.
Bullocks continue to move at quotes of €4.15/kg to €4.20/kg
For the housed cattle, it will be three to four weeks before we see them coming to market, which will help even things out over a longer time frame.
Bullocks continue to move at quotes of €4.15/kg to €4.20/kg. Heifers are working off €4.20/kg to €4.25/kg. However, quotes of €4.25/kg for heifers appear a little less common this week.
More dairy cows coming on stream in the south of the country has meant cow quotes are back a little this week, especially in the south.
P+3 cows have dropped back to between €3.40/kg and €3.50/kg, with O grading cows coming in at €3.60/kg to €3.80/kg, again depending on flesh cover.
Further north, cows don’t appear to be under as much pressure, with cow quotes coming in at similar prices to last week
Cows lacking flesh coming in at a 1 on fat score are being bought as low as €3.00/kg to €3.20/kg in some cases.
Further north, cows don’t appear to be under as much pressure, with cow quotes coming in at similar prices to last week.
Suckler-bred cull cows continue to be a solid trade, with R grading cows being quoted €3.90/kg, while U grading cows are coming in at €4.00/kg.
Bulls are working off €4.15/kg to €4.25/kg for R grading bulls, with 5c to 10c/kg extra going for U grading bulls. Younger under-16-month bulls are working off €4.10/kg to €4.15/kg on the grid.
Last week’s kill came in at just under 36,000, which is the fourth week in a row that we have come close to that mark.
The majority of these are parlour cows, as dairy farmers offload non-essential stock to ease pressure on grass and housing as we head closer to winter
Cows saw the biggest increase last week, with an increase of just under 900 cows in the last week.
It’s important to remember what these are. The majority of these are parlour cows, as dairy farmers offload non-essential stock to ease pressure on grass and housing as we head closer to winter. In terms of beef carcase output, they are contributing very little.
In terms of the prime cattle kill, the kill actually dropped by close to 1,100 head in the last week.
The bullock kill also dropped in the last week, with 700 fewer bullocks killed in the last week.
The pressure to kill stock under 30 months has eased with the end of April 2019 stock coming 30 months at the end of this month. March and April are the peak months for finishing cattle births.
So far in 2021, there has been 16,229 head exported to NI for direct slaughter compared with 17,594 head for the same period in 2020
Numbers moving north for direct slaughter remain steady, with 464 cattle exported for direct slaughter last week.
So far in 2021, there has been 16,229 head exported to NI for direct slaughter compared with 17,594 head for the same period in 2020.
Live exports for further feeding to NI stood at 42,234 by the end of September 2021, up from 29,821 for the same period in 2020. That’s a 42% rise year on year.
IFA livestock chair Brendan Golden said: “All the market signals would point to the beef price improving in the coming weeks.
“Across Europe, prices are improving, which is encouraging. The Bord Bia benchmark beef price has also improved over the last week, which shows our export markets are moving.”
The beef trade in Northern Ireland is stuck in a rut, with base quotes again unchanged on 394p/kg (€4.89/kg inc VAT) for U-3 grading animals.
Price deals are mainly 400p/kg (€4.96/kg for prime cattle, with regular finishers securing little more than 4p/kg extra.
With an increase in cow numbers, base quotes have slipped 2p to 310p/kg (€3.84/kg) for R3 grading animals. Deals of 330p/kg (€4.09/kg) are available, but not as freely available as previous weeks.