Beef holds its ground in wake of horsemeat crisis
Beef quotes this week are more or less where they were prior to the explosion of the horsemeat crisis. The factories are also after stock. Indeed, the cattle kill last week hit 28,550hd, up 1,300hd from the previous week and 1,000hd up on the corresponding week last year.
Quotes and prices for steers range from 410c/kg to 415c/kg. In-spec R-grades being killed in the northwest yesterday were making up to 418c/kg. Heifers around the country are making 425-435c/kg, with the general run selling for 425-430c/kg.
Reports would suggest that the northeast is the best place to sell heifers. Competition in the northwest for bulls was said to have resulted in 418c/kg being paid for R-grades and 426c/kg for Us. In the main U-grades are selling for 420-425c/kg, with the Rs at 410-415c/kg.
Flat prices for mixes of R and U-grades are being done up to 420c/kg. O-grade bulls are making from 395c/kg to 400c/kg. However, the €4/kg is proving to be a bit tougher to nail down. P-grade Friesians are commanding prices up to 390c/kg.
Trade for cull cows appears to have weathered the storm so far with no change to quotes or prices. The best of the heavier types continue to make 380-400c/kg. The Rs remain in a range of 360-385c/kg, with the Os making €345-360c/kg. Prices for P-grade cows vary from 320c/kg to 334c/kg
IFA president John Bryan said there would be a very angry response on the ground if meat processors made any attempt to use the events of the last week against farmers on cattle prices.
"The market is stable and despite some negative talk among agents, there is no basis whatsoever for any pressure on cattle prices," Mr Bryan said.
Meanwhile, trade in Britain remained firm with strong demand for steak cuts evident, particularly for fillets. At retail level, fresh beef sales are reportedly unaffected by the burger crisis. Overall, trade continued to be helped by ongoing tight supplies.