Farm Ireland

Friday 23 March 2018

Complaints add to mix as prices remain similar

It is proving even more difficult to get an improvement in the base quotes for cattle as it was to get a winner between Waterford and Cork in the Munster Hurling final.

As I have often said before, there is never too much positive movement in quotes, while the weekly kill remains at or above the 30,000hd mark -- and last week's kill was similar to the previous week at 30,500hd. Allied to this, some of the factories are complaining about quite a few of the older cattle coming in over-fat and some of the younger ones under-fleshed.

On the other hand, I had a farmer call me and he was making the point that, in reality, finishers with P and O grades are often being penalised by much more than what the grid would suggest.

By this he means that, according to the grid, he would be cut by 18c/kg for his O3 and 30c/kg for his P+3 from the base, which is fair enough. But he went on to say that whereas farmers with good R-grade stock have bargaining power to get the factories to work up from the base, the farmers with the Os and Ps will not be entertained if they try to get a higher base to begin with. So, in reality, the cut can be anything from 3-9c/kg on top of the grid cut.


This point gains credence if the report is true that Dunbia and Kepak Clonee paid 325c/kg for R-grade bullocks last Friday and today. The former definitely paid this for a load of R-grade heifers. Clonee is quoting a base of 305c/kg for the steers and it is the highest for the heifers at 319c/kg.

AIBP Waterford quoted a base of 316c/kg for heifers. Liffey Meats is on a base of 306c/kg for both. Kepak Athleague is offering 305c/kg and 315c/kg for the steers and heifers respectively.

Down south, some of the other AIBP and Dawn plants appear to be quoting lows of 303c/kg and 307c/kg. Moving northwards, Moyvalley is on a base of 302c/kg for the bullocks and 311c/kg for the heifers, with Donegal paying 322c/kg for the in-spec U grades, 314c/kg for the Rs, 302c/kg for the O+ and 294c/kg for the Os. Cattle not in-spec are 11c/kg back from those prices.

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Kepak Clonee remains tops for the young bulls with its 325c/kg for the Us and 314c/kg for the Rs. Athleague is on 305c/kg and 316c/kg for shapely Rs and Us, with a fat score of 3. Elsewhere Liffey is quoting 308c/kg and 314c/kg for R and U grades respectively. Donegal is on 302c/kg for the Rs and 311c/kg for the Us. The Rs are similar in southern plants, with the Us slightly better at 314c/kg, while the O-grade young bulls are being quoted at 288c/kg.

The IFA's Michael Doran said that factories continue to be very anxious for stock, with some flat prices of 314c/kg paid for Rs and 300c/kg for Os.

P+3 grade cull cow quotes vary from 224c/kg upwards. The starting point for Os is around 241c/kg, with Donegal paying 260c/kg for O+ cows over 320kgs. R grades range from 252c/kg up to 266c/kg. A load of O grades made 252c/kg in Dunbia.

Irish Independent