Beef prices slip back as kill rate rises, sheep prices solid

5th December, 2012

Prices for factory beef have slipped back in the past few days from last week’s record highs with higher than normal kill rates the reason for this according to the Livestock Price Coordinator for the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA), John Cleary.

For a good mix of steers, the base price being quoted is €3.85 – 3.95/kg, a descrease of 10 – 15c from last week’s highs. Factories are quoting €3.95- €4.00/kg for heifers a slight fall from last week.  For a mix of U and R grade bulls, the base price is also €3.95 – €4.00/kg, 10c decrease on last week.  Base price quotes for cows stand at €3.15-€3.55/kg. This is only a slight fall from last week due to the fact that the manufacturing trade is still looking for low wne meat.

Commenting on this week’s trade, Mr. Cleary said: “Prices have slipped back as much as 10-15c for high spec cattle this week. The main reason attributed to the ease back on prices is a higher than normal kill rate for the week. People were tempted by the fantastic prices available to them over the past number of weeks. High end bulls and heifers are back to below the €4/kg mark for the first time in a long time yet cows are still holding strong due the maintained demand from within the manufacturing trade for low end cuts of meat.

“It’s far from doom and gloom however. Prices are still strong in the county, saying that there are avenues to be explored to making more money from looking outside the county. Saying that, it’s not worth the transport cost to enter into excessive travel to get a few extra cent per kg. The word on the ground is that prices will remain as they are or even increase in the next week or two so farmers shouldn’t be disheartened by the news this week,” Mr. Cleary concluded.

Sheep prices have continued upwards in the past couple of weeks after a period of bottoming out. Factories are paying up €5.05/kg for lambs up to 23/kg. There were scarcities at the tail end of last week that brought prices up to €5.10/kg but this has eased back now. Quotes for ewes are €3.10/kg, no increase from last week.