Shop around as prices for same grade stock vary by up to 15c/kg
Our hopes for Eurovision success this week rests on a song entitled 'Playing With Numbers'. It would also be an apt description of the cattle kill at the moment as tightening supplies are making it difficult for the factories to maintain the kill at around the 30,000hd mark.
Last week's estimated kill from the Department of Agriculture stood at 29,452hd which was some 2,600hd back on the corresponding kill this time last year.
Agents I spoke to over the weekend were all singing the same off the same hymn sheet when it came to talk of supplies, with a free admission that numbers were tightening significantly.
However, it was like heavy metal versus hymns when it came to some of the quotes and prices as I heard of a difference of as much as 10-15c/kg for the same grade stock in certain categories. This is proof, if any is needed at this stage, of the need to shop around and bargain hard before agreeing on a deal. A difference of 15c/kg equates to a loss/gain of €60 on a 400kg carcass.
While some plants might be quoting as low as €4.05/kg for the steers, in the main the quotes are at €4.10/kg with actual prices running between €4.10/kg and €4.15/kg.
Top base prices of €4.20/kg have been got this week and a couple of agents did hint that this figure may become more common as the week progresses.
Heifer quotes are at €4.15-4.20/kg. Farmers are ignoring the lower figure and refusing to accept less than the base €4.20/kg, with a few of them securing a base of €4.25/kg.