Farm Ireland

Monday 11 December 2017

Flat prices across board as farmers show frustration

IFA's Henry Burns
IFA's Henry Burns

Joe Healy

I MET a very disgruntled beef finisher last week and after the torrid spring he has endured trying to get his bulls killed – even at loss-making prices – I could understand why he was so angry with certain people.

Prices are strengthening, albeit slowly, but more farmers are negotiating a base of 395c/kg for steers and 400c/kg for heifers. Flat prices of 370c/kg for under-age bulls have been received in more than one plant with reports of 380c/kg and 370c/kg reported for U and R grades respectively in the east.

Farmers are also securing weights up to 450c/kg. Quotes and prices for the steers vary between 390-395c/kg with the overage types generally being quoted at 380c/kg.

A majority of in-spec heifers are making 395c/kg on the grid but there are a number of deals being done at 400c/kg with the 12c/kg QA bonus on top of this. The overage heifers are making from 380-390c/kg.

Apart from the better grade bulls already mentioned, I heard of a top price of 335c/kg for what was described as "good O grades". In the main the Os vary from 300-330c/kg.

The IFA's Henry Burns said that U grade bulls have made as high as 390c/kg in the past week with keen demand for all finished stock. He added that some finishers have negotiated base prices in excess of €4/kg for heifers.

The tops of the cull cows have made up to 370c/kg with a range of 340-370c/kg being the range for the U grades while the Rs vary from 330-355c/kg. The O grades have also improved despite continuing to range from 290-315c/kg in the main. The P grades are generally making between 270-290c/kg.


Also Read

The beef trade remained similar to the previous week according to An Bord Bia, with strong supplies meeting current demand levels. Little change has been reported in trade across our key exports markets.

Export meat plant prices remained steady. Steers were purchased at an average base price of between €3.90-3.95/kg on the Quality Payment System.

Heifers traded at a base price of between €3.95-4.00/kg. These prices exclude the €0.12/kg bonus which is payable on in-spec QA animals. Prices paid for O grade cull cows were generally ranging between €2.90-3.05/kg.

Cumulative supplies for the year to date are running at around 60,000 head or almost 13pc above the figures for the corresponding period last year.

Figures released by the CSO during the week highlight that factory throughput was up more than 11pc for the first quarter, while production was up 12.5pc to 142,700 tonnes.

In Britain, reported cattle prices from the AHDB have decreased slightly with GB R4L grade steers averaging at Stg 362.8 pence/kg dw (equivalent to 463c/kg incl VAT dw).

Trade is reported as sluggish after the busy Easter period. Steak cuts are still performing best.

Indo Farming