Beef trade: Farmers unimpressed by factory attempts to scare them into selling
THE current exchanges between sellers and the factories is similar in ways to last Sunday’s Kerry-Mayo thriller in Croke Park - robust, nip and tuck but ultimately back to square one.
The cattle trade can never lay claim to be a spectator sport but last week’s action made for some very interesting scenes as factories fresh from their success of breaking the €4.00/ kg barrier and then €3.90 for bullocks pushed for €3.80.
It happened and then swung back the other way as agents ran up against tough sellers who just would not budge and who were unimpressed by attempts to scare them into selling with talk of future bases at €3.75/kg.
Factory bids of €3.80/kg were countered with demands of €3.90/kg and transport (in some cases) with the end result being both sides met reluctantly in the middle at €3.85/kg. And that is where the trade stood this week.
Heifers are generally being quoted at €3.95/kg but €4.00/ kg is still available as demand continues to soak up any extra supplies.
Cull prices are largely unchanged from last week with Rs on €3.40/kg with some €3.45 still around, Os are maybe a little easier at €3.30/kg in some factories. The P+ cow can still command €3.20/kg with other Ps further back.
The bull trade is stable to improving with under 16 months on a base spread of €3.95-4.00/ kg, the higher price being for full loads. Bulls over 16 months but under 24 months see Us on €4.00/kg, Rs on €3.90 with Os up to €3.80/kg but less in some places.
In summary, factory demand remains strong, supplies are adequate and prices for this week are effectively a replay of last week’s action.