Farmers bargaining well in excess of static quotes
Attempts by the meat factories to pull down beef prices are being met with about as much welcome from the finishers as a maroon and white jersey belonging to an underage Galway hurler would meet from Dublin GAA folk.
Having said that, the general run of quotes from most of the plants are more or less where they were at this day last week. Better still is the fact that farmers are bargaining for and securing actual prices well in excess of those quotes. Some farmers with relatively large numbers have in the past week secured flat prices for mainly heavy R-grade underage bullocks of 370-373c/kg and 367-368c/kg for older steers.
Donegal remains on 353c/kg for the O-grade steers, 361c/kg for the O+ grades, 370c/kg for the Rs and 378c/kg for the U grades, with the heifers making 3c/kg more. The bulls going in there are at 342c/kg, 356c/kg, 364c/kg and 372c/kg for the O, O+, R and U grades respectively.
Thereafter, the general base quote for the steers is in the 350-355c/kg region, with prices more often than not at a 355-358c/kg base, while some top prices as high as 360c/kg are being negotiated.
The base quote for the heifers is in the 355-360c/kg bracket, with most farmers not willing to accept below 360c/kg as a base. Farmers with good underage heifers are holding out for, and getting, up to a 370c/kg base before agreeing to sell. Butcher type heifers are making 375-380c/kg.
There were solid reports that a plant in the south lost good young bulls despite having bid for them at 380c/kg.
Word had it that they travelled up the country for 385c/kg. In any case, young bull finishers are digging in for 370c/kg for their R-grade bulls and 380c/kg for their Us.