'Promises and propaganda' from factories angers feeders
"Ireland is fighting back, the spirit of our people is as strong as ever". Our Taoiseach was definitely not talking about Irish beef farmers as he delivered his State of the Nation address on Sunday night.
If the beef processors do not begin to treat finishers with some respect and pass back returns to farmers, then the number of farmers leaving beef production is going to escalate.
Beef finishers with stock that are fit to sell and approaching 30 months feel they are caught between a rock and a hard place.
Most had expected some positive movement over the past couple of months but there has been little or no change to the prices since October for steers and heifers and the bull trade has got significantly tougher.
Quotes and prices for in-spec steers remain around €4/kg, with 390c/kg mentioned for over-age stock and 380c/kg being quoted for non-QA animals.
Heifer quotes are around 410c/kg, with most farmers securing 410-415c/kg for their in-spec heifers. A number of hard sellers have negotiated base prices of 420c/kg on the grid for their heifers.
Non-QA heifers are being quoted for as low as 390c/kg and farmers not in the QA scheme need to examine their situation. Why give the factories another stick to beat you with?
The best quote I heard for young bulls was 410c/kg for top quality types. In the main, the R and U grades are making 390-400c/kg. Farmers in the south have sold R grades for 380c/kg. Prices for O grades range from 370c/kg to 380c/kg.