By Martin Ryan
Marts: Continued hardening in beef prices at the factories has been confirmed in the analysis of farmer pay-sheet returns for last week, which show improvements of 1-3 cents/kg (up to 1p/lb) in the prices paid for cattle.
The national average for R4L bullocks and heifers increased to over 104p/lb with individual factories paying up to 106p/lb, while the overall average for O4L increased to 102p/lb and up to 104p/lb was paid by the top factories.
The improvement was paid in a week that saw bullock supplies increase by 1,400 head to 14,718 head. The total kill for the week was 33,318 head, 1,200 head higher than the same week last year. Supplies of heifers at 9,875 and cows at 6,227, were higher than at this time last year.
The highest prices paid for bullocks last week was 107.8p/lb for U grade at Donegal Meats, a whisker ahead of Newgrange Meats and Liffey Meats. Donegal paid an average of 106p/lb for R4L with Liffey Meats paying over 105p/lb and Newgrange, Moyvalley, Kepak (Clonee), Slaney (Bunclody), and AIBP (Clones) each averaging a shade under 105p/lb. Most of the remainder paid in excess of 104p/lb average.
Ashbourne, Jennings and Donegal paid averages in excess of 103p/lb for O4L bullocks and were just ahead of Liffeys, Exel and Euro.
The average for R4L heifers was similar to the bullocks. Kepak (Clonee) led the pack at 106p/lb. Slaney, AIBP (Nenagh), Donegal and Liffeys all paid in excess of 105p/lb. The average for O3 heifers was 101p/lb.
The top prices for cows were improved by 2p-4p/lb. Quality R grade cows gains up to 4p/lb Euro paying over 96p/lb. Exel Meats at Kilbeggan continues to push the trade for cows paying an average of over 91p/lb for O grade and almost 90p/lb for P grade cows.