Dip in kill sees price rise for cows, bulls and heifers
While Rory McIlroy has now tasted success in three out of the four Majors, it was also success in three out of the four cattle categories during the week.
Prices reported as paid over the past week showed a stronger trade for cows, bulls and heifers, with the steers at least holding their own. This was helped by an estimated kill of 28,168hd, which is one of the handful of occasions throughout the year where it has been lower than the corresponding week last year.
Finishers were also seeing a closing of the gap for the quotes being offered for the in-spec and overage stock to 5c/kg. This prompted one farmer to wonder if this was further proof that the processors were only using the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme as a stick to slash prices on as many cattle as possible when it suits them.
He has a point but from a marketing point of view the quality assurance scheme is a necessary tool.
Base quotes for steers on offer remains at 370-375c/kg with reports of hard sellers securing up to 380c/kg. The majority of the heifers are being quoted for at 375-380c/kg, with a few plants still chancing the 370c/kg. As with the steers, some finishers are digging their heels in and securing base prices of between 380c/kg and 385c/kg - even if the higher figure is not commonplace. Most of the heifers are selling for 375-380c/kg.
Plants appear keen on young bulls with 380c/kg paid for U grades and 370c/kg for Rs. The best I heard for O grades was 330c/kg. Quotes for the Us in the main range from 355-360c/kg with the Rs at 345-355c/kg.
The Os are generally being quoted at anything from 310-330c/kg.
Demand is good for cull cows. Prices across the board range from 280c/kg to 360c/kg. The Ps are making 280-300c/kg, while 310-330c/kg is being paid for O grades. The better grade cows are making 340-360c/kg and if you have a decent number it could pay you to shop around.