Concentrate Purchases Up 25 Per Cent in Quarter 1 of 201321 May 2013
UK - The combination of the fodder shortage and difficult production conditions experienced by beef and sheep producers in NI this spring resulted in a marked increase in the quantity of concentrates being purchased, write market experts at the Livestock and Meat Commission Northern Ireland.
This trend can be observed in the Animal Feed Statistics report released by the Policy and Economics Division of DARD for the first quarter of 2013. Figure 1 shows the total amount of concentrates purchased for beef production (beef cattle compounds and beef coarse mixes/blends) by NI producers for the first quarter of 2013 and the corresponding period in 2012.
In January 2013 50.3 thousand tonne of beef concentrates were purchased, a 21.2 per cent increase on the 41.5 thousand tonne purchased in January 2012. In February 2013 beef concentrate purchases were up 18 per cent on the previous February and in March 2013 concentrate purchases were 37.3 per cent higher than March 2012.
For the first quarter as a whole beef concentrate purchases were up 25 per cent on the first quarter of 2012 with an additional 27.7 thousand tonne purchased.
The marked rise in the quantity of cereals being purchased has placed increased financial pressure on both the beef and sheep sectors, especially given that the cost of concentrates has also increased between 2012 and 2013.
The latest available Farm Business Survey Data for the 2011/12 financial year indicated that the average cost of producing beef from the suckler herd was £3.82/kg. This figure was calculated using Farm Business Survey Data collected by DARD.
The costs of beef production were higher last year and it is expected that they will be higher again in 2013/14 given the difficult production conditions in summer 2012, the early housing of cattle in Autumn 2012, the increased cost of concentrates and forage and the late turnout of stock this spring due to poor grass growing conditions.
The beef price has improved in recent months which may help to absorb some of the additional costs of production with base quotes this week for U-3 grade cattle of 372-376p/kg. This week last year base quotes were 322-326p/kg.
The average R3 steer price in NI last week was 380.6p/kg. This is an increase of 45.9p/kg on the R3 steer price the corresponding week last year when it was 334.7p/kg.