We’re pro­duc­ing the world’s best beef so why are prices so low?

Irish Independent - Farming - - BEEF RINGSIDE - Grid Quote Range E U Gen­eral Prices Paid R O Tops Re­ported P

Steers Heifers Cull Cows Young Bulls THE IFA had spent the weeks lead­ing up to last Wed­nes­days’ Beef Fo­rum meet­ing crit­i­cis­ing the fac­to­ries on prices.

It was a sur­prise then to learn that they de­cided two days be­fore the event not to at­tend.

Beef fin­ish­ers were hop­ing the IFA would take pos­ses­sion of the talks ta­ble and not re­lin­quish it un­til the fac­to­ries had been made to an­swer the hard ques­tions.

Ques­tions about price, about the strength of the Bri­tish mar­ket, ques­tions about the grid to men­tion a few.

If the fac­to­ries didn’t an­swer those ques­tions, the IFA and the other farm or­gan­i­sa­tions should have been pre­pared to stay at that ta­ble, all night and the next day if needs be, to get their mes­sage across.

How­ever, the IFA lead­er­ship were fo­cused on their €200/hd suck­ler cow cam­paign.

In ef­fect, the Min­is­ter and the pro­cess­ing sec­tor got off scot free on what ex­actly they in­tend do­ing on prices.

Last Fri­day, though, the ICSA took the fight di­rectly to the fac­to­ries, with their protest out­side the ABP plant in Clones stop­ping all traf­fic in and out of the plant.

That ac­tion at least gave fac­tory bosses some­thing to think about.

By yes­ter­day morn­ing, those with cat­tle to sell had shifted their in­ter­est from protests to the more im­me­di­ate prob­lem of at­tempt­ing to max­imise re­turns from the fac­to­ries.

And, sur­pris­ingly, de­spite the con­tin­u­ing high kills, there are in­di­ca­tions that prices are start­ing to stir, all be it only slightly.

Last week saw up to €3.80/kg given as a base price for bul­locks, with some heifers ris­ing to €3.90/kg. The gen­eral run of prices, how­ever, re­mains static for the third week in suc­ces­sion with bul­locks be­ing quoted at €3.70-3.75/ kg and heifers on €3.803.85/kg.

Prices for bulls un­der 24 months see U grades on €3.95-3.85/kg, with Rs mak­ing from €3.75-3.80/kg while Os con­tinue on €3.703.60/kg.

Heavy bulls

I had re­ports yes­ter­day of heavy bulls be­ing bought flat by one plant at €3.85/kg across the board.

On the cow front, yes­ter­day’s quotes in­di­cated that a smat­ter­ing of 5-10c/kg ex­tra had worked its way into the sys­tem, most no­tably among the P grades where P+3s are now com­mand­ing €3.00/kg.

At the top end R grades should get you some­where from €3.40-3.30/kg, with Os on €3.15-3.10/kg.

The De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture’s Meat Mar­ket re­port for the week end­ing Septem­ber 30 shows the Ir­ish beef price for that week (ex­clud­ing VAT) as be­ing €3.69/kg as op­posed to the EU 15 av­er­age of €3.71/kg.

Both of those fig­ures are a long way short of the Bri­tish av­er­age of €4.24/kg or the North’s €4.02/kg, with Ger­many av­er­ag­ing €3.84/ kg.

Fi­nally, I don’t buy the MII ar­gu­ment that be­cause Ir­ish beef prices were above the EU av­er­age for much of this year that is sup­posed to make us feel bet­ter when they slip below it.

We’re pro­duc­ing the world’s best beef and sell­ing it into the world’s most prof­itable mar­ket.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.