Kill figures stay around 30,600hd for fourth week

Joe Healy

If only we could get those that are managing the weekly cattle kill figures to manage our economy, we wouldn't need to worry about the future because we could rest easy in the knowledge that a very firm grip was being kept on all proceedings.

For the fourth week in a row the kill is steady, hovering around 30,600hd. There has only been a few hundred of a difference between this and the lowest kill for the month of February.

One factory with its tongue firmly in its cheek said that it was great how the farmers were offering just the correct amount of stock every week for slaughter. As a result, there is as little movement in price as there was from the Manchester United midfield last Sunday.

Steers remain on a base quote of 330c/kg. Some finishers are bargaining for a base of 336c/kg, with the quality assurance bonus on top of this.

Reports suggest that one of the better payers was Dunbia, while up to 339c/kg was negotiated for good quality R grades at Moyvalley.

The base quote for the heifers is generally at 336c/kg with the Kepak plants seemingly slightly better than the norm.

Athleague and Kilbeggan are offering a base of 340c/kg, with Clonee quoting 342c/kg for the under-30-month heifers. In-spec heifers are said to have commanded prices of up to 350c/kg in Eurofarm Duleek.

I also heard that AIBP Clones had offered a base of 345c/kg for heifers last week. Up North, Donegal is paying 350c/kg and 358c/kg for the in-spec R and U grade heifers respectively. The steers are 3c/kg back from those prices. They are on 336c/kg and 345c/kg for the R and U grade young bulls.

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Kepak Clonee is similar for the Rs but is paying 347c/kg for the U grades, 322c/kg for the O+ and O= with 312c/kg for the ordinary O grade. Kepak Athleague is quoting 322c/kg, 336c/kg and 342c/kg for the O, R and Us respectively, while Kilbeggan is willing to offer 336c/kg and 345c/kg for the R and U grades. In the southeast, top bulls made 350c/kg.

The cows appear to be the best seller at the moment. Good R grades at Liffey made up to 308c/kg, which is a tad better than the 305c/kg paid in Donegal for the Rs and O+ cows over 320kg carcass weight. It is offering 291c/kg for the P+ and O grades and 280c/kg for the P3 types. Cows going into Dunbia are said to have made 302c/kg for the Rs and 288c/kg for the O grades. Elsewhere, the general quote for the cows range from 280-294c/kg.

The cattle trade in Britain was largely unchanged, Bord Bia said. Trade for round cuts and steak remains somewhat subdued, while demand for forequarter product is reportedly steady.

Reported cattle prices from the AHDB were steady as GB R4L grade steers averaged Stg283.3p/kg deadweight (equivalent to 347c/kg deadweight) for the week ended February 26.

In Germany, the R3 young bull price made €3.73 with the O3 cow price at €2.75/kg. Irish steer hinds in France made €5.26/kg.

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