Factories offer hope as quotes inch upwards
A bull and heifer finisher from the south east gave me some revealing information over the weekend about where his prices are at for in-spec stock.
Then Des Morrison, the ICMSA’s livestock chairman from Mayo was on my phone with very similar figures.
Viewed together they hinted at something far more interesting than just the abilities of a farmer or two to squeeze an extra few cents out of the system in one area.
Both men told me that hard bargaining last week had pushed the price for in-spec heifers in their areas from €3.85/kg to €3.90/kg, with some deals seeing transport added.
Both men also said that while €3.50-3.60/kg is the general run for U and R grade bulls, up to €3.70/kg has been paid for Us, with Rs moving to €3.60/kg.
Granted you may have to be a larger feeder, but when these figures begin to leak out, it is an indication that something has changed.
While those higher prices for bulls are being paid to some, many finishers are still reporting delays of two to three weeks in getting bulls away. O grade bulls seem steady at €3.40 with Friesians on €3.20-3.30/kg. The message from the ICMSA yesterday was that in-spec stock — heifers or bullocks — are becoming scarce, with prices hardening by 5c/kg.
It appears that the uniform price carpet that has lain across the country for months has at last begun to fray around the edges.