Farm Ireland

Thursday 23 November 2017

Off-grid dealing secures cattle

PRICES were up a bit and, more importantly, plants are willing to deal with farmers off the grid while pressing whatever buttons necessary to pay the agreed price through it.

You know what I mean and so do they. There is one processor sticking steadfastly to the grid, however. At the moment, most farmers who are in a position to sell off it are doing so and making their own deals. With last week's kill down at 26,800hd, supplies are tight so the farmer has a bit more selling power.

Base quotes for the steers are 306-308c/kg, while the heifers are at 314-319c/kg. Flat prices of 314c/kg for R-grade steers have been paid this week, with prices as high as 336c/kg mentioned for heifers. In the south, some farmers are selling steers for 308c/kg flat or 308c/kg on the grid plus transport. The high price I heard of for the heifers also came from the south. Farmers selling O and R-grade bullocks in the northeast have got 308c/kg and 314c/kg respectively.

In the west, Kepak Athleague is offering a base of 305c/kg for the bullocks and 315c/kg for the heifers, while Dawn Ballyhaunis is on 306c/kg and 310c/kg for both sexes. Moyvalley is quoting a base of 308c/kg for steers and 314c/kg for the heifers. Some of the AIBP plants are on 306c/kg and 312c/kg.

Slaney has paid 314c/kg flat for a broad mixture of bullocks. Donegal remains on 330c/kg, 322c/kg, and 302c/kg for the in-spec U, R, O+ cattle but, interestingly, has increased the carcass weight allowed from 380kg up to 420kg.

Young bull quotes for the Us are at 314-325c/kg, while the Rs are at 311-314c/kg.

Quotes and prices for cull cows are also moving upwards, with the 280c/kg coming closer. Prices for heavy cows range from 263-274c/kg. The O grades vary from 252-263c/kg, while the P+3 cows made 246-258c/kg.

The cattle trade improved during the past week, according to Bord Bia, in response to supplies tightening as demand remains largely unchanged. Prices for all categories of cattle showed an increase.

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Quotes for R-grade steers under the quality payment system increased on last week's levels, with the base reference price now at 306-311c/kg, while heifer prices are at 312-319c/kg. These prices exclude the six cent on in-spec quality-assured stock. Prices for O-grade cows also improved and quotes are now at 252-261c/kg.

In the UK, trade has reportedly quietened with supplies sufficient to match demand.

Reported cattle prices from the AHDB eased slightly, with GB R4L-grade steers averaging Stg268.2p/kg deadweight (equivalent to 340c/kg including VAT dw) for the week ended July 31.

On the continent, the beef trade remained steady with demand holding up well across most key markets for this time of year.

In France, Irish steer hindquarters are making 463c/kg. R3 young bull prices in Germany increased by 6/c to 315c/kg, with O3 cow prices up 1/c at 245c/kg, while in Italy, R3 young bull prices increased by 8/c to 356c/kg, with O3 cow prices up 12/c at 271c/kg.

Irish Independent