Beef Prices: Cow kills tilting scales in favour of the factories
Last week’s kill of 36,667 was 839 ahead of the previous week and 3,407 ahead of the equivalent week last year. Factory prices yesterday morning saw no negative effect, with the base prices of steers and heifers remaining at €3.75 and €3.85/kg respectively.
There were reports of attempts to pull bullocks by 5c/kg but they appeared as of yesterday lunch time to have come to nought.
Prices for cull cows remain much as they have for the last month with your better P grade floating around €2.60/kg and O grades on €2.70-2.80/kg. R grades in general are €3.00/kg but I’m told some plants are giving a shake more if the numbers and conformation are good enough.
The bull trade continues to be the whipping boy of the cattle job and although I have reports of €3.80/kg given for U grades and €3.70/kg for Rs, other sources had Rs as low as €3.50/kg with €3.65/kg possible.
When I asked why the big variation I was told “it’s complicated”.
When you see the throughput figures, the trade isn’t “complicated” at all, there are just too many cattle going through the system.
Bord Bia figures for the first half of January show the cow kill is up 11pc to 12,244 on the same period last year, while bulls are up 4.3pc to 11,298.
Bullocks and heifers are back 4.3pc and 2.2pc respectively but it’s not enough. It’s those cow numbers that are keeping the scales tipped in the factories’ favour.