Beef Prices: Kill figures steady but prices tighten
While the first week of 2017 saw factory kill figures decline, numbers appear to have resumed.
According to Bord Bia, kill figures reached 32,128 for the week ending January 16 - similar to where they were at the end of 2016.
However, there has been an interesting shift in pricing.
Last week, top of the market for bullocks was €3.85/kg and €3.95/kg for heifers.
Although, in effect, this remains the case, sources say it is easier to get €3.95/kg for heifers than €3.85 /kg for bullocks.
In other words, factories have tightened up a little on price. Current demands for beef suggest the traditional turning point for farmer prices, 30,000hd per week, no longer applies.
The trick for processors now is holding the market share they have built up.
Secondly, if kills of up to 33,000 cattle a week continues, that extra 100,000 head in the system will gradually disappear without notice.