Beef prices are heading for €4.00/kg as demand hardens
"Say nothing, tell no one" - those were the word that echoed down many phones over the weekend and yesterday morning as factory agents closed deals that saw many hundreds of cattle being bought at prices that factories don't want publicised.
While the odd factory was still quoting as low as €3.75/kg for bullocks and €3.85/kg for heifers yesterday, there was still an acknowledgement that €3.80-3.90/kg is where the market is at.
The general run of official quotes is in the 3.80-3.90/kg bracket for bullocks and heifers but I've had reports that a minimum of 5c/kg more has been offered.
Indeed I had a report on Sunday night that a base of €4.00/kg was offered for heifers on carcases up to 350kgs.
Angus Woods of IFA confirmed that €4.00/kg was also paid for heifers above 350kg carcase weight.
"With grass cattle now gone and demand from the supermarkets for the Christmas market in full swing, factories have now no choice but to try to buy cattle from shed men," Mr Woods said
"In relation to price, can any finisher afford to take less than €4.00/kg as a minimum when selling into this market? I don't think so".
The cow trade continues steady, with R grades in and around €3.50/kg and Os on €3.30-3.20.