Beef Prices: Pendulum swings back as kill down by 4,000hd
Three weeks ago the number of cattle killed in Irish meat export plants was 36,100, two weeks ago it was over 37,000 and last week it was 33,085.
Cattle numbers are the great barometer of the trade they decide everything from what price factories feel is the minimum the market may accept to the decision by producers to either sell or hold.
The influence on the trade of numbers is so great that there was almost an audible national sigh of disappointment among farmers and the farm organisations when the kill figures recovered two weeks ago. But with a fall of 4,000 last week now confirmed, the pendulum has begun to swing back.
It was said to me more than once over the last month that despite continuing strong numbers, factories still weren’t confident enough in supplies to attempt to rein in prices further.
It was almost as if factory bosses were afraid to squeeze too hard for fear it would provoke an organised backlash at a time where constant uninterrupted supplies were possibly worth more than the risk of having them interrupted for the sake of a few cents here or there.
It all helps explain why bullock base quotes continue to range from €3.75-3.80/kg.
There are also reports of €3.85/kg being given but only in very select deals.
It’s no different for heifers which are generally trading in the €3.85-3.90/kg range.