Abundant supplies pile pressure on plain stock
Excess weight in the forwards proved to be more of a negative than a positive for the Toulouse team playing Munster in Thomond Park last Saturday and while carcase weights have been a huge problem area for finishers selling young bulls this year, the weight issue does seem to have eased.
More and more farmers are saying that a number of plants have moved up from the 420kgs mark with quite a few getting bulls killed up to 450-460kg before any weight cuts are implemented. Sellers are also negotiating a slight increase in prices with up to 370c/kg being got for U grades in more than one factory. In general, the quotes for the Us are at 360c/kg with the Rs at 350c/kg, but a mix of both could command 360c/kg flat. The O grades vary from 300-330c/kg.
Base quotes for steers run from 385-395c/kg with prices usually between 390-395c/kg. The heifers are also being quoted for at 385-395c/kg and again very few are bought below the 390c/kg with finishers normally securing the 395c/kg.
Farmers are finding it difficult, however, to get finished cattle from plainer breeds killed despite those cattle being Quality Assured. Factories are undoubtedly using the large numbers being offered for slaughter to pick and choose what they want. Last week's estimated kill of 32,667 was almost 8,000hd or over 30pc ahead of the corresponding kill of 24,594hd last year.
The best price I heard for cull cows was 335c/kg flat for a mix of R and U grades with 335c/kg paid for U grades in another plant. The Rs are generally making from 310-330c/kg with the Os ranging from 280-300c/kg.
An Bord Bia reported that the beef trade remained similar to recent weeks as an abundance of supply continues to maintain pressure on prices.
Prices quoted by export meat plants were generally at the same level as the previous week. The majority of steers were purchased at a base price of between €3.90-3.95/kg on the Quality Payment System. Heifers traded at a base price of between €3.95-4.00/kg.