Factories continue to tighten their grip on trade, helped by continued strong weekly launches.
In the week ended August 28, 35,806 animals passed through processor gates, bringing this year’s total kill to 1,139,833 — an increase of 86,779 from the first eight months of 2021.
While the mills have failed to bring the base prices below €4.80/kg for steers or heifers, they have managed to narrow the range of base prices available and largely eliminated flat-rate prices.
From the weekend, the general base price for oxen was 4.80 €/kg. 4.85 €/kg may still be available, but these days it is more of an exception.
Heifers also continue to draw a stable furrow, with most sellers continuing to take €4.85/kg. Again, an additional 5c/kg is available and seems more achievable than for steers.
On the processed beef side, prices for slaughter cows and young bulls also remain unchanged. Better P-cows continue to cost €4.30-4.40/kg, better-beefed O-classes €4.50-4.60/kg. R and U varieties are around €4.80-4.90/kg.
Bulls under 16 months operate on a basis of €4.85/kg; For the up to 24 months U-classes are €4.90-4.95/kg with €5.00/kg quoted for full loads and Rs at €4.80/kg.
It looks like the recent rain will slow numbers on the market side, but the expectation on the factory side is that it’s too late to have a meaningful impact on the numbers.
Meanwhile, Rabobank’s latest global forecast for the sector paints a picture of resilient trade but predicts consumers will switch from premium beef products to more processed beef.
While the Dutch bank reports that global consumer beef prices are 5-11 percent higher in the second quarter of the year than in the same period in 2021, it noted that the UK saw negative growth over the same period. They attribute this to consumers reacting to higher prices.
In Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of beef, retail prices have risen by more than 50 percent in the past two years. Rabobank expects this winter’s soccer World Cup to support consumption in the coming months, but said that in the longer term “higher prices will be a test for the Brazilian consumer and beef will likely shift to the export trade”.
A few weeks ago I said I couldn’t understand why for years farming groups hadn’t insisted on paying farmers a bonus for bringing cattle into factories the night before slaughter.
Several readers contacted me to say that paying a “Monday Morning Bonus” on the Sheep site was common at one time. I’m just mentioning it.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/beef/beef-prices/485kg-now-the-exception-for-bullocks-as-factories-tighten-their-grip-on-the-trade-41963310.html €4.85/kg is now the exception for steers as factories get a tighter grip on trade