Signs of life in the beef sector but crucifixion of finishers continues
A beef farmer I spoke to over the weekend remarked that while last week's beef summit came and went, it may as well have been referred to as the Last Supper as the crucifixion of beef finishers continues.
While I have no good news for him this week, I will say that there does seem to be a little more life to the trade with numbers of bulls and cull cows appearing to be tightening significantly, according to factory sources and agents.
This is also reflecting itself somewhat at price level, with the good cows showing an improvement of 10-20c/kg in some factories and the R and U grade bulls also enjoying a bit more demand with prices of up to 470c/kg for a mix of both grades in more than one plant.
In the main, however, the Us are selling for 360-370c/kg, with the Rs generally moving at 350c/kg. O grades are making 300-330c/kg.
I heard of one farmer who had prime young cattle to sell and he was trying to "sweeten" the deal with a number of cull cows. Yep, you read right. Imagine what that says about our industry when you are hoping that by offering a few old cull cows, the factory might show more interest in your prime stock.
The best I heard for the tops of the cows was 350c/kg. The Us range from 330-350c/kg, with the Rs at 320-340c/kg.
Quotes and prices for the O grades run from 290-315c/kg, while the P grades range from 270-290c/kg.