Wide gap between quotes and prices paid
Angela Merkel was not the only one trying to work out a deal this week. Factory agents were frantically trying to secure adequate stock from the continuing scarce supply.
Last week's estimated kill was down to 27,000hd and, for the second week running, showed a fall of well over 3,000 animals compared to the same week last year. As a result, factory agents were under severe pressure to source enough cattle.
Not for the first time, the official quotes bear little or no resemblance to what can actually be secured for cattle. If you are foolish enough not to price around, you are losing a hatful of money at this point in time.
I know of farmers who have sold heifers for a base price of 360c/kg to a plant on the same day that it freely paid a base of 375c/kg to another farmer. The difference of 15c/kg on a 300kg carcass translates into a gain or loss of €45/animal.
Just remember that at this point in time it is a seller's market, with the farmer holding the cards. It is vital that you maximise this opportunity.
Donegal had to increase its price by 11c/kg over the past week to stop the haemorrhage of stock out of the county. It is now paying 378c/kg and 370c/kg for in-spec U and R-grade heifers respectively, with steer prices 3c/kg back from those figures. Young bulls are making 370c/kg for U grades and 361c/kg for R grades.
Elsewhere, most of the factories have increased their quotes by at least 6c/kg.