How far would you take 20 bullocks for an extra €5,000?
How far would you be prepared to travel to be paid more than €5,000 extra for a single load of 20 finished steers?
That is the difference that was on the cards for decision by producers who sold finished steers to one of the country’s beef export factories, according to the official prices paid.
Statistics released by the Department of Agriculture recently, from information on prices paid collected from each of the 25 factories show that there was a difference of up to 69¢/kg in the prices actually paid to producers for U grade steers recently and fractionally less for O grade steers.
Foyle Meats, Donegal dominated the market for steers paying an average of 457¢/kg for U=4= steers, a whopping 68¢/kg more than the lowest factory average for the same grade at 389¢/kg.
The Donegal factory paid an average of 435¢/kg for O=4= steers, which was 69¢/kg above the lowest factory average which was 366¢/kg, a difference which can add to more than €5,000 in a consignment of 20 average finished steers.
The factory in the north west was also the price leader for R=3= steers for which they paid an average of 413¢/kg. However in this category there was tighter pricing between the processors and the margin between the highest and lowest factory average was 13¢/kg. Margins were less, although still significant, for heifers.
The top price for U=4= heifers was paid by Ashbourne Meats at an average of 445¢/kg, which was 21¢/kg above the lowest factory average. Kepak (Watergrasshill) paid the highest average price for R=4= steers at an average of 437¢/kg with the range of factory prices varying from 407¢/kg.
ABP (Waterford) paid the highest average for O=4= heifers at 428 ¢/kg which was 44¢/kg higher than the lowest factory average. The base for steers increased by an average of 2.9¢/kg last week, while the average base for heifers was stronger by 3.8¢/kg.