Farm Ireland

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Disappointment as plants refuse to significantly increase meat quotes

Joe Healy

It is beyond disappointing to see meat plants refusing to properly increase their quotes as we move into December. Some of them continue to quote as low as 290c/kg and 295 c/kg for average steers.

However, the one piece of good news is that while weather conditions at the moment are affecting supplies into the factory, there does not appear to be any negative effect on the factory getting meat to the markets. The general base quote for steers improved only slightly, with most plants on 300-303c/kg at the moment.

Quotes for the heifers are probably misleading at 300-306c/kg because tight supplies are forcing factories to prices well in excess of this. Reports suggest that lively competition in the northwest is leading to prices rumoured to be anything from 314c/kg to 336c/kg being offered for good R=/R+ underage heifers killing out around 260-320kg.

If you are selling, make sure you bargain because the quotes from the plants in this region are similar to the quotes mentioned earlier from the rest of the plants around the country. Included here are the AIBP, Dawn and Kepak plants as well as Moyvalley, Liffey, Kildare and Slaney.

Donegal are paying 330c/kg, 322c/kg and 314c/kg for the in-spec U, R and O grades respectively. Out-of-spec animals are 14c/kg back from those prices.

Dunbia was mentioned as having offered 325c/kg for U-grade young bulls and 314c/kg for the Rs. Kepak Clonee is quoting 319c/kg for the Us, 308c/kg for the Rs with the Os at 298c/kg.

Quotes for the U grades run from 319c/kg in Clonee down to a low of 300c/kg being quoted by Moyvalley Meats. Elsewhere, they are quoted between 314-316c/kg.

Moyvalley is also the lowest for the R grades on a quote of 294c/kg with most of the rest offering 302-308c/kg. Liffey Meats and Kepak Athleague are quoting 306c/kg for Rs killing out at less than 380kg, while Donegal is paying 305c/kg for the Rs and 294c/kg for the O+ young bulls.

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IFA livestock chairman Michael Doran said some factories were offering 10-20c/kg over the quoted base to get cattle this week. He added that the factories in the north were offering 318-320c/kg plus transport for southern cattle.

Quotes and prices for cull cows have improved, with reports of 280c/kg for the heavy R/U grades and 266c/kg for the Os. Top quotes for Rs were in the 263-266c/kg range. Quotes for the O grades run from 241-252c/kg.

The beef trade was maintained during the past week, according to Bord Bia, despite the stronger than anticipated cattle supplies.

Quotes for R-grade steers under the Quality Payment System increased slightly, with prices quoted at around 297-300c/kg.

Heifer prices also increased a little, with quotes making in the range of 300-306c/kg. These prices exclude the 6c/kg on in-spec Quality Assured stock. Cow prices also experienced some upward movement, with quotes typically in the 242-255c/kg range as supplies remain tight.

In the UK, little change was reported on recent weeks as demand continues to offset supplies. The best trade reported was for round cuts, with trade for silversides and knuckles seen as firm.

Reported cattle prices from the UK have firmed slightly, with GB R4L grade steers averaging Stg278.8p/kg dw (equivalent to 347c/kg including VAT dw) for the week ended November 20.

Irish Independent