Premium paid for prime cattle soars by up to 60pc
The premium being paid to producers of prime quality cattle by the factories has increased by up to 60pc over a four-week period.
However, the latest report by the Department of Agriculture on cattle prices also shows that producers could bag an extra €120 for their animals by simply switching factory. Analysis of the actual prices paid to producers, compiled by the Department of Agriculture, has revealed that a September national average of 21c/kg above base (R= 3=) price was paid for U= 4- heifers, compared to 13c/kg over base in August.
However, there was a slippage of up to 5c/kg in the base when the prices released by the Department for the third week in September were compared to the corresponding week in August.
The premium for the quality steers was also stronger last month at a national average of 16c/kg over base for U= 4- compared to 13c/kg over base in August.
The quality payment system (QPS) premium for U= 4- steers and heifers is 18c/kg without taking into account the bonus 6c/kg for quality assured animals and the penalty of 6c/kg which applies to animals over 30 months.
The national average base steer price slipped from 363c/kg to 358c/kg, but a wide margin has opened between individual factories on the premium being paid for quality stock and the penalties being applied to the lower grading animals.
This confirms that there is a significant advantage for producers by shopping around for the best prices.