Little sign of festive cheer for finishers
“Prices continue their upward trajectory this week. Bullocks moved up to bases of €3.95-4.00/kg, with heifers reported as selling from €4.05-4.10/kg, with €4.15 being paid on special orders.”
I don’t blame you if you did a double take. That is the first paragraph from this column 12 months ago.
The headline read “Christmas has come early for the beef sector”.
Not so this Christmas. Now, the world of the beef finisher is in a far different place. Prices yesterday remained fixed for in-spec bullocks at €3.75/kg, heifers on €3.85/kg, with reports that farmers with over-age or out-of-spec stock were forced to take 10c/kg less.
And reports yesterday indicate that with the chills full and Christmas coming, a number of plants plan to reduce their kill this week and over the festive period.
Returning to pricing, cull cows remain in the doldrums, with Rs now no better than €3.00/kg, Os on €2.60-2.80/kg and Ps €2.40-2.60/kg.
The situation in relation to bulls also sees no improvement, with the base for under-16-month stock continuing at €3.70-3.75/kg.
Bulls up to 24 months are on €3.80-3.85/kg for Us, with Rs at €3.70-3.75, while O grades range from €3.50/kg to €3.60/kg. All in all, there is not a lot of Christmas cheer about among finishers.