Quotes stuck at €4/kg for steers
The beef trade is wobbly this week and, if factory sources are to be believed, prospects for the remainder of the week give as little cause for optimism to beef finishers as Ireland's showdown against the All Blacks on Sunday gives to rugby supporters.
With the kill running at more than 32,000hd per week, the ball is firmly in the processors' court. We are currently only getting in cents/kg what British farmers are getting in pence/kg. This is keeping the gap for similar steers at close to €1/kg or €400 on a 400kg carcase when allowances are made for VAT.
Quotes and prices for steers are stuck at the €4/kg, while heifer quotes remain at 410c/kg. Farmers are finding it easier to get a bit more for the heifers, with prices of 415c/kg being secured but it takes work to achieve this.
If you are selling, ensure you are clear on maximum weight and what cuts are to be had if your animal kills out over this weight, as a number of plants now seem to be operating a cut off point of 420kg with a 10c/kg price cut above this.
Young bulls are not escaping either. However, I did hear of a mix of O and R grades under two years old and killing out less than 320kg, making €4/kg flat to travel south from the northwest to two different plants.
In the main, plants are trying to buy O grades at 375-390c/kg with the Rs at a range of 390-400c/kg. Most are quoting 400c/kg for U grades but some of them have paid up to 410c/kg. While there are no great differences, it is still worthwhile to shop around and bargain hard.
Quotes and prices for cull cows have fallen by around 10c/kg. The best cows are now making 350-370c/kg. Prices for R grades range from a low of 320c/kg up to a top price of 360-365c/kg. O grades are moving at 310-325c/kg, while 290-310c/kg is being paid for most P grades.