Factories go in for the kill on beef prices
LAST week we reported on the factories’ push on prices — for those of you with stock to sell you known that situation still prevails.
If anything those who make the decisions on pricing inside the factory gate were wielding the knife even more forcefully as last week went on. By the middle of the week, base prices for bullocks had been hammered down to €3.80/kg, while the heifer was finding it difficult to get above €3.90/kg.
Reports from some quarters suggested that by Wednesday or Thursday of this week an attempt may be made to pull those prices by another 5c/kg.
This means that those who finish cattle have now lost 5c/kg every week for the last four weeks. On carcase weights from 330-390kg that’s €66-78/hd. On the other side I don’t see the supermarket price coming down when I go shopping.
Put simply, in the year that has seen some of the most trying farming circumstances in several generations, beef factory bosses seem intent on skinning their suppliers to the bone in pursuit of profit.
Moving back to current prices, cows have also come under pressure along with everything else in recent times.
Prices quoted to me yesterday morning had R grades between €3.35 and €3.20/kg with Os hovering around the €3.10 mark, while your better P+ cow ranged from €3.00 back to €2.80/kg. These prices are ball park figures in one sense as the amount of cover verses the weight, as I’ve said before, tends to colour the factory mans thinking when he’s writing that cheque.
Prices for bulls are also coming under pressure, not from their own numbers as they have declined as they do at this time every year, but from the undercurrent of overall strong numbers.