Farm Ireland

Friday 23 February 2018

Farmers bargaining well in excess of static quotes


Joe Healy

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.


Also Read

Quotes for those two grades are generally at 350-364c/kg for the Rs, with the Us in a range of 358-370c/kg. The quotes for the Os go from 340-345c/kg, while prices are generally from 345-350c/kg.

Commenting on the trade, IFA livestock chairman Michael Doran said that the beef trade is firm, with the tight supplies resulting in very strong market returns with last week's kill of 31,600 -- some 3,000hd behind the same week last year.

He added that the UK market was paying the equivalent base of 390c/kg.

Moyvalley remains top for the very good, heavy U and R-grade cows at 350c/kg and 336c/kg respectively. Generally, the Rs are being quoted at anything from 302-327c/kg depending on plant and carcass weight.

The O-grade cows are making 300-319c/kg, with Donegal on 322c/kg for the O+ over 280kg and 316c/kg for the O grades. P+ grade cows are ranging from 286-305c/kg.

Bord Bia reported that trade for cattle eased last week as some supplies were forward marketed, reflecting the impact of difficult weather conditions over the past week. As a result, prices across all categories eased slightly.

Quotes for R-grade steers under the Quality Payment System were making €3.47-3.52/kg. Heifer quotes were in the region of €3.57-3.62/kg. These prices exclude the 6c/kg on in-spec Quality Assured stock. O-grade cows were typically making €2.97-3.08/kg.

In the UK, trade remained firm, with all parts of the carcass reportedly in good demand as supplies were tight. Reported cattle prices from the AHDB have firmed further, with R4L grade steers averaging the equivalent of 400c/kg deadweight for the week ended September 3.

Indo Farming