Increase in beef prices tapers off

Marts: The rise in beef prices at the factories has tapered off for all grades, with average prices paid over the past week showing the first marginal decline in several weeks.

Farmer pay sheet returns confirm that the prices paid for cattle supplies for last week's kill were either stable or slightly down, adding to the speculation that the trade has peaked, for the short term at least.

The highest factory average for R4L bullocks was down by 3 cent/kg (1p/lb) at 106p/lb at Donegal Meats, while the national average was unchanged at 104p/lb. Euro Farm Foods at Duleek, Co Meath, have become a strong contender in the trade paying the second highest average of over 105p/lb. Paying 105p/lb or a fraction under were Kepak at Clonee and Watergrasshill, Jennings of Ballinrobe, Kildare Chilling and Newgrange Meats at Navan. The average for AIBP Group was unchanged at 104p/lb the highest prices being paid at Nenagh (104.8p/lb) and Rathkeale (!04.7p/lb) and the average for the Kepak Group of factories was also similar to the previous week. At the Dawn Group the average was down by almost 1p/lb.

The national average for O4L bullocks was lower at 101.7p/lb. The average for R4L heifers was slightly lower at 104.4p/lb and the overall average for O4L heifers was slightly improved at 101.6. Kepak at Clonee and Donegal Meats were the only factories paying average over 104.8p/lb, which was paid by Kepak at Watergrasshill, Slaney Meats, Bunclody, Dawn Meats at Waterford and Ballaghadereen, and Jennings of Ballinrobe.

The returns show the factories paid between 2p/lb and 3p/lb over the their quoted prices.

Euro Farm Foods at Duleek paid an average of over 94p/lb for R3 cows. The highest price for O4 grade was 89p/lb at Kepak, Clonee.

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