Factories: Prices ready to rocket even as kill figures hit year-high
When you see a cull cow making €2.28/kg or €2,380 at Roscrea mart in the same week that factory kill figures hit a year high of 39,800, you really begin to see where beef prices could go.
As of yesterday morning, €3.85/kg was available "at every crossroads" for bullocks, but those serious about selling are getting €3.90/kg, with a further 5c/kg reported as "possibly possible".
The story with the heifer is the same, €3.95/kg being offered, but deals are only being closed when €4.00-4.05/kg goes on the table.
Returning to that Roscrea cull cow, what would she have to make at the factory gate just to get out? She is reported as being R/U-grade; however, yesterday's U-grade quotes for cows of €3.60-3.65/kg leaves her a long way off the price that would be needed to recover her cost.
My sums say she has to do at least €3.75-3.85/kg to get out. The point of this little exercise is to show what factories can give when they want - and remember this animal will never get any quality payments, she was bought and paid for simply because she was big beef.
Moving back to the more ordinary R-, O- and P-grade cows, prices at the lower end continue to strengthen, with P-plusses pushing onto €3.20/kg while lesser Ps range from €2.90-3.10/kg. O-grades are on €3.20-3.30/kg, with R-grades in the €3.40-3.50/kg bracket and U-grades on €3.60-3.65/kg.
The story of improving prices despite continuing massive weekly kills continues into the bull section, with prices here too reported as moving strongly upwards especially for those heavier better-conformation bulls under 24 months.
I was given a price of €4.10/kg as having been paid over the weekend for combination loads of U- and R-grade heavy bulls. Base prices for U-16 month stock appear to be floating from €3.90-4.00/kg as they too edge upwards.