Beef Prices: Slight boost for heifers but price pressure continues
Factories and feeders continue to test each other’s resolve on prices.
While prices hold at €3.75- 3.80/kg for bullocks, the possibility of reaching €3.85/kg remains tentatively possible in the background. On the other side of the spectrum, some factory agents are starting their bidding at €3.70/kg.
However, reports in the farmer’s favour are emerging on the heifer front with some factories flat pricing batches of Hereford and Angus at €3.90 plus bonuses, rather than giving €3.95/kg on the grid followed by top bonuses.
Sellers with good continental type heifers are getting this return as factories opt for more meat yield and the associated lesser costs per kilo.
While trade for heifers is improving slightly, factories are trying to open a wider price gap for bullocks at €3.70-3.80/kg, in the hope of hitting a middle ground at €3.75/kg, or below it if they detect a weakness.
However, it’s difficult to anticipate any major upturn in farmers’ fortunes as numbers continue to present very strongly, with 34.588 animals slaughtered for the week ending February 12.
Angus Woods, IFA beef chairman, said that: “UK prices continue strong with prices for R3 steers at £3.60/kg for the week ending February 5, which is equivalent to €4.34/ kg.
“This confirms the strong view that there is real potential for Irish factories to lift prices to winter finishers based on solid demand and UK market returns.”