Poor grades hardest hit as prices drop

Marts: There was a slight drop in prices paid by factories for cattle last week, with the poorer graders being the hardest hit, but the average was up to 6 cent/kg (2p/lb) above the quoted prices for the week by the processors.

The overall average paid for R grade cattle, as confirmed yesterday by the farmer pay-sheet returns from the factories, was down less than 1c/kg for bullocks and by just over 1c/kg for heifers.

The average for O grade bullocks fell by 3c/kg (1p/lb) and the average for O grade heifers was back slightly more at 4c/kg less than the previous week. The prices held at up to 6c/kg higher than the generally quoted rates of 286c-274c/kg (102p-98p/lb) for R/O grades.

R4L bullocks averages a shade under 104p/lb. The top factory average was 108p/lb at Donegal Meats followed by Euro Farm Foods at 105p/lb and Kepak at Clonee, Liffey Meats, Kildare Chilling, Moyvalley Meats, and Ashbourne Meats all paying over 104p/lb.

Within the AIBP Group there was a variation of 1.5p/lb between averages at two factories in the same county, Cahir averaging 102.4p/lb and an average of 103.9p/lb paid at Nenagh. Dawn Meats at Midleton, aided by strong supplies of cattle, bought at an average of 102.5p/lb.

The top price for cows slipped a little at 94p/lb at Euro Farm Foods, while Exel Meats maintained their dominance at the top of the market for O and P grades, paying an average of 91p/lb for O5 and 90p/lb for P+3. Kepak at Clonee and Ashbourne Meats, Roscrea, were also strong competitors on price for the cows.

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