Demand remains firm as supplies continue to tighten for beef farmers
Unlike many Russians, Irish beef finishers do not have to worry about large amounts of savings locked up in Cypriot banks.
And even though cattle prices have improved considerably, massive savings will probably never be a cause for anxiety for most beef finishers.
However, as I have often said let's be grateful for small mercies because beef prices at the moment are at a level that most of us would not have imagined a few short weeks ago.
Supplies continue to tighten and demand remains strong. This is always a good combination from a farmer's point of view and at the moment the finisher is definitely in a good position, especially if he has quality assured (QA) stock fit for slaughter.
If his/her steers fit into this category then prices of up to 435c/kg are successfully being negotiated, while quotes range in the main between 425-430c/kg. The QA bonus of 12c/kg is paid out on top of each of the figures mentioned on suitable stock.
The best base I've heard is 437-440c/kg. The 437c/kg was paid in the northwest for QA in-spec steers killing out under 400kg. If over the 400kg, the all-in price is only 437c/kg. The 440c/kg was mentioned for a couple of plants with the southeast definitely included.
Base quotes for the heifers generally range between 450c/kg and 455c/kg but some deals of up to 460c/kg base are being done.
Again, if the heifer is out of the QA loop a few plants are trying to buy at 450c/kg so this 10c/kg difference is accentuated by the extra loss of the QA payment of 12c/kg. In other words there could be as much as 22c/kg of a difference between similar grade heifers.