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Independent.ie

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Beef quotes stable as farmers eye better times

 

The female champion at the weanling show & sale in Corrin Mart, Fermoy a Belgian Blue heifer weighing 430 kilos sold for €1,610 & is pictured with Michael Ryan, mart committee, owner Donal O'Leary, Kildinan, David O'Leary, Kildinan & sponsor Maurice O'Connell, Gain Feeds. Photo O'Gorman Photography.
The female champion at the weanling show & sale in Corrin Mart, Fermoy a Belgian Blue heifer weighing 430 kilos sold for €1,610 & is pictured with Michael Ryan, mart committee, owner Donal O'Leary, Kildinan, David O'Leary, Kildinan & sponsor Maurice O'Connell, Gain Feeds. Photo O'Gorman Photography.
Martin Coughlan

Martin Coughlan

THE beef factory representatives were hedging their bets at the Ploughing.

While they were not talking prices down, at the same time they were not talking down the numbers.

When pressed on Christmas prospects, Paul Nolan of Dawn Meats said that the festive sea­son usually sees a welcome strengthening in price.

Among farmers and finish­ers, however, there seems to be a tone of optimism that numbers will ease back as we head into mid-October.

However, as the heavens opened on Wednesday evening, it was a stark reminder of what a fellow in the west said about the rain a few weeks ago.

“It whispers in the factories’ ear,” he said.

The forecast for the week gave room for optimism, with dry days interspersed with some rain.

That said, a lot of decisions will be made this week on beef farms — questions about graz­ing, selling or housing. Grass might be cheap but keeping heavy stock on soft ground is a real ‘no no’.

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Among the horsey fraternity similar conversations will be had, resulting in phone calls being made — phone calls that will lead to large numbers of some of the finest stock in the country being sold over the next few weeks to the factories as stud farms move to protect their ground.

What is to be hoped for is that the weather remains largely dry and that disposals from what­ever quarter are conducted in an orderly fashion.

In relation to the specifics, prices as of yesterday morning remain largely unchanged from last week with bullocks on €3.80/kg and heifers on €3.90/ kg. Some plants are continuing to quote 5c/kg below this, but they are a minority.

Bull prices, on the other hand, appear to be strengthen­ing, with quotes this week for 16-24-month-old stock running from €3.90-3.95/kg for Us back to €3.70-3.75/kg for Os, with Rs on €3.80-3.85/kg. Should you have numbers of better-confor­mation U-grade stock, €4.00/kg appears achievable.

The reality is that the flat €3.70-3.75/kg price for O-grad­ing bulls puts the price of your O-grading bullock into perspec­tive. At a base of €3.80/kg, your O-grade bullock falls back to at best €3.68/kg and at worst to €3.32/kg.

At those prices setting a min­imum cut-off price has to be put on the table as essential.

Cows continue stable, with Rs trading from €3.50-3.45/kg and Os on €3.30-3.25/kg


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