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Tug of war being fought on quotes

The Sunday Independent's Rich List published last weekend included almost all the beef processers who ranged in in ranking from 21 to 264.

Fair play to them and to anyone else who can increase their wealth by millions in the space of a year.

The nearest I got to making that list was last Saturday at the Connacht Colleges' hurling final when I was about 10m from Supermac's Pat McDonagh.

In any event, we will live in hope that the beef men referred to above might decide sometime to share some of the wealth by passing on what the market allows them to the farmers whose hard work is instrumental in getting them and keeping them on such an illustrious list.

Quotes and prices this week are similar to where they were last week.

Steer quotes range from €4.10-4.15/kg, and prices were similar. Most of the plants are trying to quote the lower amount but many farmers are refusing to sell.

It is very important that sellers identify for any cuts associated with age and or weights before slaughter. A number of plants are imposing cuts to the base for these.

Heifers in the main are at €4.15-4.20/kg. Young bulls are making from €3.90-4.20/kg with the Us generally at €4.15-4.20. R grades are making €4.10-4.15/kg, with the Os at €3.90-3.95/kg.

There was mention of €4/kg paid for O grades in a load including mainly Rs and a few Us. T

he cull cow trade remains strong with numbers quite tight and struggling to match demand. I've heard of €4/kg being paid.

The good heavy continentals are mainly selling for €3.75-3.90/kg. The Os are making from €3.50-3.70/kg, while the P grades are selling at €3.30-3.50/kg.

The IFA's Henry Burns said that any slight weakness in the British market has been more than compensated for by the continuing strength of Sterling against the euro. He estimates that the move from 80p to 72.5p against the euro is worth an additional 52c/kg, or about €187/hd. After a relatively slow start, the live export trade is increasing significantly with a total of 7,241hd exported in the last week of February and calf exports accounting for over 66pc or 4,822hd.

There are encouraging signs for the EU live trade to Turkey with 40,000hd of younger stock exported there in the last 3 months. In addition there are talks that the live trade for finished cattle to Turkey may reopen soon. This could be a major boost for the bull trade in France and Germany. Supplies for the year to date are in line with supplies for the corresponding period last year at around, 277,000 head, although industry analysts believe that there are up to 150,000 fewer animals to slaughter in Ireland this year.

In Britain, R4L steers are making €5.37/kg. In France R3 young bull price was up 1c to €3.95/kg, while the O3 cow price was down 1c to €3.26/kg. In the Italian market, the R3 young bull price was up 5c to €4.10/kg and the O3 cow price was up 11c to €2.77/kg.

jhealy@ independent.ie

Indo Farming