Steer base quotes drop to just €4/kg
Tipperary might have taken advantage of tired Waterford legs in Sunday's Munster final but beef factories are also taking advantage of the bad weather and higher costs on beef farms at the moment.
Last week's estimated kill of 23,400hd was the lowest weekly kill of the year to date, and it happened at a time when the euro/sterling exchange rate was in our favour. Despite this, the factories are attempting to cut beef prices further.
A few weeks ago, someone told me the factories would make a bold attempt to get base prices back to €4/kg. Although the man who said it is close enough to the industry, I don't think even he envisaged the movement being so brazen. If our kill was up at last year's level of 27,000hd, I dread to imagine where the quotes or prices would be.
Base quotes for steers are around the €4/kg mark in most of the country, with plants in the south attempting to go as low as 395c/kg. Some cattle killed early this week were sold at last week's price of up to 410c/kg and above.
Similarly with the heifers, lots killed yesterday and today were bought at 420-425c/kg but quotes for the rest of the week appear to be in the range of 405-415c/kg. The southern plants are at the lower end of the spectrum here too.
Bulls have probably taken the biggest hit, with good U-grades only being quoted 410c/kg and R-grades at 400-405c/kg. O-grade bulls are between 385-395c/kg.
Commenting on trade, IFA livestock chairman Henry Burns hit out at the concerted move by the factories to cut prices on the back of poor climatic conditions. He added that prices in the UK (our biggest market) were firm, at the equivalent of €4.50/kg.