Bargain hard to keep up positive moves on price
Prices and quotes for beef have moved on to such unfamiliar levels this week that I thought I might have to get onto the Department of Finance to get one of its top officials to confirm that the pence/euro equivalents were correctly calculated.
Then I realised that the department's expertise is concentrated on the billions -- and beef farmers still have a long way to go to get there.
However, to reach any destination you have to start in the right direction and beef quotes and prices are definitely moving positively this week.
These moves have been helped by price increases across the EU and the kill for the past week at an estimated 30,450hd compared to the 35,800hd for the same week last year.
Prices in Donegal alone have increased by 28-30c/kg over the past month. This leaves the in-spec R-grade steers at 395c/kg today, with U grades at 406c/kg. The R and U-grade heifers are at 400 and 412c/kg respectively, the O+ types are at 392c/kg and bullocks are on 386c/kg.
Elsewhere, the base for the steers is generally 370-375c/kg, with reports of base prices agreed in places of 378-380c/kg.
Heifer base prices were 380-390c/kg and are in demand. Reports suggest that up to 395c/kg was offered for a large number of good quality heifers.
I have heard of R and U bulls making up to 400c/kg for a mix of each grade. A big variation of quotes and prices sees Us at 375-400c/kg, with Donegal at the higher end.