The strong factory kills continue, 37,292 for the week ending the 28th of June. Add to that 37,292 around another 1,100 that went north that week for immediate slaughter, out of the 1,701 reported by the department of agriculture and you do wonder how long more the numbers can keep coming.
Will supplies tighten? You would have to say they have to.
On the prices, front bullocks appear to have moved up between 5-10c/kg to between €3.60-3.65/kg with heifers on €3.65-3.70/kg.
As always when there is a want, those with bigger numbers of in spec quality stock can generally leverage another 5c/kg or possibly more. For the man with the Friesian bullock, the news appears equally positive with reports that some plants last week paid flat prices of €3.50/kg while others guaranteed a minimum price for P’s.
The day you see factories moving off the grid to buy numbers you know the game has changed. The game has also changed for those with bulls with prices improved by around 5-10c/kg.
This translates into U’s on €3.70/kg with R’s poking up to €3.60kg while O grades depending on fat cover and overall conformation operating from €3.40-3.50/kg.
The cull cow sees most O grades on €2.90-3.00/kg with some bigger feeders squeezing an extra 5c/kg. R grades range from €3.10-3.20/kg while your good P grade is in or around €2.80-2.90/kg, again bigger numbers and a good mix better grades helps.
Looking closer those Friesian bullocks reported as having been bought at a flat €3.50/kg the reality is they are in some respects not that far ahead of O grade cows at €3.00/kg when you allow the bullocks kill out better.
The next two months are going to be interesting. I suspect factories will tune up their agents to slow down any expectoration of further price rises as they access the overall market situation.
However, with demand continuing strong and with that northern trade bleeding supplies still further plus little talk of weight limits and the like I expect those with stock coming fit will hold tough.
The reality is if you do decide to hold tough the time of the year and the recent surge in grass growth are in your favour. But as we all know, there is no such thing as a guarantee.
Take the clash last week of Manchester City with runaway Premier League champions Liverpool. The expectation was a Liverpool win or at worst a handy score draw. On the night City dismantled them four nil and looked world beaters; and then on Sunday, City went and lost to Southampton.
ICMSA President Pat Mc Cormack is not best pleased with recent figures from retail giant Tesco which show their sales of steaks “rocketed” by 40% during the Covid lockdown. Having recognised that the market was oversupplied because of the closure of the food services and hospitality sectors Mr McCormack is having none of Tesco’s claims that they ‘offered to help suppliers’ by putting those surplus steaks on ‘discounted sale’
“What actually happened here is that Tesco purchased the cuts that were going to the food-service at prices that (allowed them) to sell the steaks onto their customers at a low price and still make a margin. If retailers are serious about supporting the primary producer then a bigger proportion of the increased margin made during the Covid-19 should be passed back through the supply chain” Mr Mc Cormack said.