Beef prices hit €4.00/kg for stock that tick all the boxes
IF the factory end of the cattle business at present was to be compared to a football match you'd be saying it was tight all across the park.
Official quotes from the processors remain unchanged from last week but in reality prices have edged upwards as agents are being squeezed on price by those with cattle to sell.
So the ball is going the way of the farmer in some of the on pitch skirmishes.
As of yesterday morning, beef prices of €4.00/kg were being paid for good bullocks that "ticked all the boxes". Ticking all the boxes"however isn't simple - breed, age, conformation, movements, quality assured and fat score - there are more variations and possibilities than there are appeals boards in the GAA.
In general, however, factories up until last Friday had been successful in holding the line at €3.95/kg as the base for bullocks with some plants being mischievous by continuing to quoting €3.90/kg.
The €4/kg line for bullocks was breached yesterday. Prior to that, over the weekend, I had farmers telling me that any number of combinations of prices from €3.95-3.98/kg were being talked about.
The story with the heifers is that factories are quoting bases as low as €4/kg, but €4.05/kg is generally accepted as where negotiations actually start. Whether they finish there as the week goes on will depend on the supply-demand balance.
There also appears to be good news for those with bulls to sell as after recent price pressures last week saw a levelling off. Prices were reported as firm to slightly improved.