Beef Prices: Agents are hoovering up all the stock they can get
WITH the Cheltenham Gold Cup imminent I was hoping to use a racing analogy this week to add a bit of colour to the factory report.
Unfortunately the latest news indicates that the best that can be said is that the trade is proceeding at a steady trot - not quite with a Cotswolds' canter.
Prices for steers remain fixed between €3.95-400/kg with heifers on €4.05-4.10/kg with one report that €4.15/kg was paid by a western plant yesterday morning for in-spec stock.
While the trade does not appear to have picked up speed, those standing closest to it note that where cattle are coming on the market local factory men are moving quickly to hoover them up, with little or nothing being left behind.
Probably the best gauge of the Irish factory trade is the cull cow; if she's falling, the whole business sits up and takes notice. She's not falling - in actual fact her price seems to be remaining strong.
U grades are reported as being at €3.80-3.85/kg, with Rs on €3.60-3.75/kg, Os continue on €3.40-3.45, while P grades range from €3.00-3.30/kg.
In the real world of business the absolutes in relation to price often become blurred when farmer and factory come to hammering out the specifics.
For example some P grade cows were hung up last week at €3.40/kg as they made up the numbers on loads of Os.