Small price increase at beef factories this week

“Every little helps” for beef finishers, who gained a small price increase at factories this week.

Base prices are stronger by 5-10 cents/kg this week for both steers and heifers.

The general offering for the steers is a base of 380 cents/kg, which represents an overall increase of 20 cents/kg since early October, worth a more than overdue €70/head.

Of course, the increase must be measured against the extra cost of keeping the stock over the past five weeks.

There are some reports of finishers negotiating 385 cents/kg base, but most processors are trying to stick with the quoted base prices.

The premium for heifers, however, has tightened again, and is running at 5 cents/kg ahead of steer prices.

Up to 390 cents/kg is being negotiated for some heifers, but is not generally available.

Despite the two-day farmer protest at factories last week, the intake topped 27,000 head, which taken together with the previous week’s supply, averaged over 32,000 head per week.

There are only a few weeks left for processors to meet requirements for the pre-Christmas trade.

There has been no indication so far of any tightening in the supply to a level to put enough pressure on processors to substantially increase prices.

There has been no change in prices for cows this week.

The base price on offer for the O/P-grades is 310-325 cents/kg and up to 345 cents/kg for Rs.

Meanwhile, in Britain, prices continued to rise, with R4L-grade steers averaging equivalent to 480 cent/kg (including VAT), maintaining a gap of €1/kg over the Irish price for similar stock.

Processors argue that it is not a fair comparison.

In France, the beef market is reported as steady on the back of on-going promotions.

In Italy, the market is reported as steady, with demand expected to rise for higher value cuts such as fillets in the lead up to Christmas.


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