Farm Ireland

Sunday 25 February 2018

Dip in kill sees price rise for cows, bulls and heifers

Pictured at the Carbery Show recently is the winner of Class 54 -
Pictured at the Carbery Show recently is the winner of Class 54 - "Cannontown Zeus Farrah" with left to right - Noel Hennessy, Lismore, Co. Waterford (Judge), Diarmuid Murphy, Lissaniskey, Innishannon, Co. Cork (Owner), & Seamus O'Callaghan, Durapak Agri

Joe Healy

While Rory McIlroy has now tasted success in three out of the four Majors, it was also success in three out of the four cattle categories during the week.

Prices reported as paid over the past week showed a stronger trade for cows, bulls and heifers, with the steers at least holding their own. This was helped by an estimated kill of 28,168hd, which is one of the handful of occasions throughout the year where it has been lower than the corresponding week last year.

Finishers were also seeing a closing of the gap for the quotes being offered for the in-spec and overage stock to 5c/kg. This prompted one farmer to wonder if this was further proof that the processors were only using the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Scheme as a stick to slash prices on as many cattle as possible when it suits them.

He has a point but from a marketing point of view the quality assurance scheme is a 
necessary tool.

Base quotes for steers on offer remains at 370-375c/kg with reports of hard sellers securing up to 380c/kg. The majority of the heifers are being quoted for at 375-380c/kg, with a few plants still chancing the 370c/kg. As with the steers, some finishers are digging their heels in and securing base prices of between 380c/kg and 385c/kg - even if the higher figure is not commonplace. Most of the heifers are selling for 375-380c/kg.

Plants appear keen on young bulls with 380c/kg paid for U grades and 370c/kg for Rs. The best I heard for O grades was 330c/kg. Quotes for the Us in the main range from 355-360c/kg with the Rs at 345-355c/kg.

The Os are generally being quoted at anything from 

Demand is good for cull cows. Prices across the board range from 280c/kg to 360c/kg. The Ps are making 280-300c/kg, while 310-330c/kg is being paid for O grades. The better grade cows are making 340-360c/kg and if you have a decent number it could pay you to shop around.

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IFA national livestock chairman Henry Burns said cattle supplies were significantly tighter this week, with no pressure on cattle at grass to move. He said thrive is very good and the factories are looking for numbers again.

He said prices were hard to move but €3.85/kg base has been paid for heifers this week and €3.80 for steers. He said cow prices have also moved up 6c to 10c/kg in the last week with strong demand, which is always a good sign of the trade.

In Britain, reported cattle prices from the AHDB increased slightly with GB R4L grade steers averaging at Stg339.7p/kg deadweight (equivalent to 450c/kg including VAT deadweight). Trade was reported as sluggish overall. However, there has been some increase in demand for steak cuts 
as a result of the improved weather.

In France the beef trade continues to remain steady with few changes in prices reported. The R3 young bull price was €3.84/kg inclusive of VAT. The O3 cow price was €3.56/kg. In Italy, demand continues to be slow on the back of lower consumption with prices back on the same period last year. The R3 young bull price was €3.78/kg and the O3 cow price was €2.85/kg including VAT.

Meanwhile, according to the recently published Rabobank Beef Quarterly Q2 2014 report, the global beef market will regain its positive momentum in quarter three.

This will likely support further strengthening of prices, as supply of competing animal proteins tighten. The main potential constraints for the start of these positive developments are rainfall in Australia and, to a lesser extent, the continued drought in US and Brazil, which will push more cattle through the system.

Winner of Class 54 - Cannontown Zeus Farrah - at the Carbery Show with judge Noel Hennessy, owner Diarmuid Murphy and Seamus O'Callaghan of Durapak Agri Ltd.

Indo Farming