Flat prices across board as farmers show frustration
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.