Buoyancy on market sees 10c/kg rise in price
The perfect 10. And yes, while three of our provincial number 10s had unbelievable games in the Heineken Cup at the weekend, it is the beef trade I am referring to where quite a lot of finishers were seeing the prices improve by more than 10c/kg since the early part of last week.
One factory agent remarked that the trade has moved so fast that farmers are finding it difficult to keep up with it and almost afraid to sell today in case the price might have gone up again by tomorrow.
He was telling no lies here because just glancing back to the middle of the year, quite a few factories varied between a 346-358c/kg base quote for the steers between the mid year point and late October. This was only an up or down movement of 12c/kg in total. Over the past three weeks, those same plants have upped their quotes by close to 30c/kg, so it is little wonder that people are able to keep up with it.
Base quotes for heifers today range from 390-400c/kg with reports of some finishers negotiating up to 405c/kg base. The steers are being quoted at 380-390c/kg base with most base prices in a range of 385-390c/kg.
Again, farmers with numbers are securing up to 395c/kg base with a few reports of as much as 400c/kg paid.
One factory agent said to me that anyone with bulls was getting 400c/kg. Mixtures of R and U grades have made 410c/kg. Finishers with numbers of top quality stock are holding out for more. Quotes for the U grades run from 390-400c/kg with the Rs at 380-390c/kg. O-grade quotes of 360-380c/kg are on offer from Donegal for the O+ bulls. Having said that, I did hear of O grades making up to 385c/kg and they didn't have to travel as far north as Donegal.
Commenting on the trade, the IFA's Michael Doran said that with the markets and the trade continuing strongly, sellers should shop around and ensure that they are getting full value for their stock.
If cull cows are an indicator then the omens are good. Some plants are supposed to have paid as high as 364c/kg for the tops of the cows. Generally, farmers with good U grades are getting 350-360c/kg, with the Rs at 325-353c/kg and some processors willing to pay up to 360c/kg for the good heavy Rs. O grades are at 319-339c/kg, with Donegal paying up to 347c/kg for the O+ cows. Depending on where you go with your P+ cows, you could get a range of quotes and prices from a low of 328c/kg up to 372c/kg.