Foyle Meats continue to turn up the heat on prices
Another week has slipped by with prices for steers continuing to remain static at €3.75/kg and heifers on €3.85/kg among the majority of factories.
Foyle Meats in Donegal, however, continued to turn up the heat on the opposition yesterday with their €3.85/kg base for bullocks and €3.95/kg for heifers.
Reports of 5c/kg above that general run of €3.75/g for bullocks being available among more southern-based plants is in all probability true but those getting that 5c/kg are possibly ticking a few factory boxes that aren’t on any grid.
The issue of whether it pays a factory better on occasion to buy cattle that are over 30 months, and that, as a result, don’t qualify for the 12c/kg quality assurance payment while still originating on quality assured farms raises some interesting points.
Firstly not all contracts being filled by the processors require under 30-month beef, the big requirement for many outlets is that the beef comes from quality assured farms.
Doing the figures on a 380kg over 30-month carcase versus an equivalent under 30-month animal, the factory saves .12c/kg x 380kgs = €45.60.
Once you compare two similar grade and weight carcases but where one qualifies for quality assurance and the other doesn’t but both originate from quality assured herds, the saving on that €380kg carcase to the factory expands to €91.20.
The word on the ground is that those with animals from QA approved farms around that 340-380kg mark but over 30 months are the ones as likely as any to squeeze a little bit more out of the factories on the base price.