Fac­to­ries are beef­ing up their tac­tics

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

Steers Heifers Cull Cows Young Bulls PRICES for bul­locks and heifers re­main fixed in re­cent days week at €3.75 and €3.85/kg re­spec­tively.

How­ever, there were some con­flict­ing re­ports that some plants were try­ing to open an ad­di­tional 5c/kg gap where Friesians were con­cerned.

While kill num­bers still re­main very high for the time of year, those with heifers and bul­locks are not ex­pe­ri­enc­ing any sig­nif­i­cant de­lays in get­ting their cat­tle away de­spite last week’s over­all kill hit­ting 37,715.

The news on the bull side con­tin­ues to be dif­fi­cult, apart from poor prices, the is­sue of get­ting bulls away con­tin­ues to be the ma­jor headache.

Last week saw prices range from €3.75-3.70/kg for Us, with Rs trad­ing from €3.603.50/kg and con­ti­nen­tal Os mak­ing around the €3.40/kg mark, with Friesians 10c/kg less.

Fac­to­ries ap­peared to have hard­ened their ap­proach even more yes­ter­day as those with a gen­uine in­ter­est in bulls ap­peared re­luc­tant to quote above €3.70/kg for Us. Some re­ported quotes as low as €3.00/kg were of­fered last week for Friesian type stock.

Th­ese plants were send­ing a mes­sage: “We don’t ac­tu­ally want Friesian bulls but if your will­ing to take €3.00/kg...” That, in ef­fect, is the price of an R grade cull cow. The irony is that for the week end­ing Jan­uary 19, the Bord Bia fig­ures show that the only sec­tion of the num­bers ta­ble that was back on the same week in 2018 were the young bulls at 5,646 verses 5,908. Steers were at 11,308 as against 10,809 in 2018, with heifers at 11,826 com­pared to 9,931, while cull cow num­bers were up over al­most 1,200 to 7,398.

Those fac­to­ries with a gen­uine in­ter­est in bulls might not be so hard to deal with if you are a reg­u­lar client.

IFA’s beef chair An­gus Woods con­tin­ues to look for com­pen­sa­tion for and an aid pack­age for beef fin­ish­ers ahead of Brexit.

He said the IFA has put for­ward a case that for ev­ery 5c/ kg change on the price that Min­is­ter Creed needs to se­cure €20 per head ad­di­tional di­rect pay­ment com­pen­sa­tion.

ICSA also ap­pear to have adopted a sim­i­lar strat­egy with the use of “in­ter­ven­tion and aids to pri­vate stor­age” as a means of putting “a re­al­is­tic floor un­der the price of beef ”.

I re­mem­ber the days of in­ter­ven­tion and APS, the days when fac­to­ries filled the cold stores whether there was a mar­ket or not, and then they moved to cut the prices any­way.

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