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Saturday 23 September 2017

Beef trade: Heifer prices hit €4.20/kg in places

22/4/2017.Mohill Mart. Weight. 585K. DOB 20/3/15. Sex F. Breed CH. Price €1380. Photo Brian Farrell
22/4/2017.Mohill Mart. Weight. 585K. DOB 20/3/15. Sex F. Breed CH. Price €1380. Photo Brian Farrell
Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

THE story on factory prices for last week and the start of this week is one of a steady trade.

Bullock prices broke through the €4/kg ceiling a few weeks ago but since they have been sluggish with prices this week generally in the €4.00-4.05/kg bracket with little talk as yet of €4.10 being freely available.

The general run of base quotes for heifers is from €4.10- €4.15 with reports of €4.20 being paid in places last week.

Those with heifers and bullocks on contract will be 8-12c/kg above these prices. Looking at the bulls there is upward movement as their numbers going through the system remain generally in line with 2016 figures but are close to 10% below the overall figure when compared with 2016.

What all this means is that as of yesterday the general quote for bulls over sixteen months was Us and Rs on €4.05/kg with the talk of €4.10 being considered where numbers were involved. O grades sit on €3.90-3.95/kg while bulls under 16 months are now working off a base price of €4.00/kg.

An issue for many farmers in the bull job is their belief that whether the animal is over or under sixteen months at the end of the day they both end up in the same container bound for the same market but with the factory having paid two different prices.

The cow trade continues to tip along very nicely and prices got another 5c/kg lift last week to the point where €3.50/kg was paid for O grades although the general run was in the €3.40’s with Rs now between €3.55-3.70/kg leaving your better P grade between €3.35-3.10/kg.

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The average price of your R3 grade bullock as of April 16 - excluding VAT- was €3.91/ kg according to the latest Bord Bia figures. The price in Britain was €4.17/kg for the same week - that’s a .26c/kg difference.

The British farmer’s price is 17c/kg stronger versus his 2016 price for the same week while the Irish farmer is only 8c/kg better off. The Irish O grade bullock is 6c/kg less than this time last year.

All the time the British farmer saw his price improve from €3.75/kg last year to €3.80/kg this year.

To be fair the same batch of figures sees Irish plants come out better in the cow price table with last year’s R grade price of €3.34/kg for the same week as above trumped by .9c/ kg this year at €3.43/kg with O grades improved by 10c/ kg at €3.20/kg from €3.10/kg last year.

These compare well compared with either the north, currently €3.31/kg for Rs and €3.06/kg for Os with the British mainland 1-3c/kg further back.


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