Farm Ireland

Thursday 22 March 2018

Prices up amid tight supplies

Joe Healy

THE GOOD news is that quotes and prices are up in almost all plants around the country. However, if Robert Splaine's Irish showjumping team is as hesitant at the jumps later on in the week as the plants are at upping their quotes, I wouldn't be betting too much on our chances of winning the Nations Cup.

Even though it shouldn't shock as much as last Saturday's football results, the tight supplies have resulted in more factories buying and paying in lots of different ways. Some of the more hardened pro-QPS grid plants are twitching and tweaking their methods of paying the farmer in whatever manner the farmer wishes in order to secure cattle.

The south has been the main area where the grid system has held, but signs suggest the farmer is now beginning to have the decision on whether he wants to go this way or back to the favoured old system of bargaining on a more flat-price method. Given the choice, the majority, especially with the plainer types, go for the latter.

The general base quote for steers at the moment appears to be 305-306c/kg with heifers at 312-319c/kg. Factories mentioned at these quotes include the Dawn, Kepak and AIBP plants, and Moyvalley, Dunbia, Slaney and Kildare Chilling. Liffey is on 306c/kg for the heifers and steers. Kepak Clonee was at the higher end for the heifers, at a base of 319c/kg, while Athleague offered 315c/kg.

There were reports of heifers making as high as 330c/kg in the northeast, while down south a flat price of 308c/kg has been secured for O-grade steers.

Up in the northwest, Donegal is paying 319c/kg, 311c/kg, 302c/kg and 294c/kg for in-spec U, R, O+ and O-grade young bulls, with the out-of-spec bulls on a penalty of 6c/kg from those prices. In-spec bullock and heifers are 330c/kg for the U grades, 322c/kg for the Rs and 302c/kg for the O+ stock. Out-of-spec cattle are running at 11c/kg less for each grade.

R-grade young bull quotes vary from 308c/kg up to 314c/kg, while Us are at a top range of 319-325c/kg on offer from Kepak Clonee. Cull cows have also improved.

The general run of quotes for P+3 cows above 273kg deadweight is 238-252c/kg. The O grades are at 246-258c/kg, while the R/U quotes are at anything from 252c/kg up to 274c/kg.

Also Read

Bord Bia reported a firming in steer prices over the past week, reflecting tightening in steer supplies. This, combined with steady market demand, has helped maintain the trade.

Base reference price were at 305-308c/kg. Heifer prices remain steady, with quotes in the range of 311c/kg to 316c/kg. These prices exclude the 6c/kg for in-spec quality-assured stock. Prices for O-grade cows showed little change as quotes were at 246-255c/kg. Total supplies to date are 13pc up last year's levels (or 109,000hd), with the majority of the increase coming from heifers and cows.

In the UK, trade was reported as reasonable, with little movement in overall demand. Reported cattle prices from the AHDB eased, with GB R4L grade steers averaging Stg269.7p/kg deadweight (340c/kg including VAT dw) for the week ended July 24.

On the continent, the beef trade remained steady, with demand holding up well across most key markets for the time of the year. In France, Irish steer hindquarters are at 463c/kg. R3 young bull prices in Germany increased by 4/c to 308c/kg.

Irish Independent