Rise of 5c/kg in steer quotes as finishers hold out for 400c/kg
The unacceptable gap between what meat processors pay for beef here and in Britain remains a thorn in the side for beef finishers here. It appears Irish finishers are being fleeced to compensate processors for the extra €250 they are willing to pay for finished beef animals in Britain.
I just can't figure out why this is allowed to happen and for so long at this stage but it's high time someone shouted "Stop".
Steer base quotes here have risen by 5c/kg to 395-400c/kg, with more and more finishers holding out for the €4/kg base. In-spec R grades are still making 408c/kg up in Donegal, with U grades at 418c/kg. Heifers there are making 414c/kg and 426c/kg respectively for the Rs and Us.
Elsewhere, the base quote for the heifers is at 410-415c/kg. Good sellers are getting a base quote of 415-420c/kg on the grid. I heard of a few mixed loads of under- and over-age male cattle, including some very heavy carcases, making flat prices of €4.10/kg for the Us and €4/kg for the Rs.
The best of the bulls are making 410-415c/kg, with quotes slightly lower at 400-410c/kg. Mixes of R and U grades have made up to 410c/kg, with the quote for the Rs more often than not in the 395-405c/kg range. O grade bulls are selling for 380-390c/kg.
Demand for cows remains strong, with a top price of 390c/kg paid for selections of top quality well-fleshed stock. U grades are making 360-390c/kg, while R grades made 340-370c/kg. Prices for the Os are 325-346c/kg and P+ cows are at 305-334c/kg.
IFA livestock chairman Henry Burns said beef prices were edging upwards, with more farmers securing the €4/kg base for their steers and 420c/kg for the heifers. He added that some feeders had negotiated up to 415c/kg for good young bulls. He urged farmers with in-spec stock to dig in and demand up to an extra 10c/kg from the factories.
Cattle supplies to-date this year are running around 13pc or 183,900 head behind last year's levels. Last week's estimated kill was 32,787hd.