4% drop in the cattle herd
The French Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Forestry show a 10 per cent decline in finished cattle slaughterings during August compared to a year earlier, writes Bernadette Byrne from the Paris Office, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board.
Cow supplies fell by a significant eight per cent, leaving throughput on a year to date basis down by four per cent.
Young bull supplies also continued their downward trend with throughput back by some 68,000 head, (10 per cent) for the first eight months of the year with veal supplies down by a more modest two per cent or 22,900 head.
With more limited disposals in August, producer prices continued their upward trend.
The average O3 cow price was recorded at €3.70/kg or a €0.60/kg increase compared to the previous year.
At over €3.95/kg, the average price of young bulls was almost €0.54/kg higher than August 2011 levels.
Exports of finished cattle were 20 per cent higher up to the end of July.
This reflects increasing demand from emerging markets, (particularly Turkey, which accounted for 85 per cent of exports).
In July, due to the limited availability, weanling exports to Italy fell by 17 per cent compared to the same month in 2011.
In August, the average price for weanlings seemed to stabilise at €2.98/kg representing a €0.50/kg increase on the relatively weak level of August 2011.
In terms of beef exports, the volumes for July 2012 (20,800 tonnes) fell by 16 per cent with the three key markets, namely Italy, Greece and Germany recording declines of four per cent, 16 per cent and 21 per cent respectively.
Beef imports, on the other hand, were up by eight per cent to reach 28,900 tonnes.
Beef consumption for the period was down three per cent compared to July/August 2011 as retail prices increased by some five per cent. Consumption for the January to August period however is back by a more moderate 1.5 per cent.
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.