Pressure on quotes but farmers stand firm
Referring to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty on this day 90 years ago, our Taoiseach Enda Kenny, in his address to the nation on Sunday, said that he is confident that we can make our way to recovery, prosperity and fulfilment. Leaving aside the prosperity and fulfilment, the past year has helped Irish beef farmers to some form of recovery after years of -- I think it is fair to say -- working at a loss.
All the indications are that the final few weeks will show very little change to where we are at the moment. The weekly kills are remaining pretty stable at 33,000-34,000hd. Last week's estimated figure was 33,150 animals.
Probably the best way to describe the trade at the moment is that despite efforts by the processors to pull prices a little, a refusal by the farmer to accept less for cattle is resulting in prices remaining firm.
Base quotes for the steers are generally in the 385-390c/kg range, with prices of 390-395c/kg being the norm, especially if the cattle are underage.
Some plants are trying their hand at buying over-age steers on a base of 380c/kg. Donegal are offering 400c/kg for the in-spec R-grade bullocks.
On the heifer front, the general run for base quotes is 395-400c/kg, with prices ranging in the main from 400-405c/kg. The R-grade heifer going into Donegal is being quoted at 406c/kg this week, while the U grade is at 418c/kg. O+ grades are at 398c/kg.
Some good young bulls bought last week but being slaughtered this week have made up to 410c/kg flat, with other reports of flat prices of 405c/kg for batches of R and U grades.