Cow prices re­main firm amid fric­tion

Irish Independent - Farming - - Ringside -

killing this week have been bought at 415c/kg but he wasn’t will­ing to an­swer the ques­tion as to what they were of­fer­ing farm­ers ring­ing them up to­day with heifers to sell. A fe w fin­ish­ers have done deals of be­tween 405-410c/kg for heifers to be killed over the next few days but oth­ers with smaller num­bers are strug­gling to get the plants of­fer­ing 395c/kg.

I have of ten en­cour­aged farm­ers to shop around but this is eas­ier said than done at the present time as fac­to­ries are not overly anx­ious to break the bank for oc­ca­sional sup­pli­ers.

This has been the case with the bulls for quite some time. A few farm­ers I spoke to dur­ing the past week said they re­ceived a dis­in­ter­ested type of re­sponse from fac­to­ries they have not dealt with reg­u­larly.

In-spec steers are gen­er­ally be­ing quoted for at 400c/kg, with a few plants also quot­ing down to 395c/kg. Out of spec s teer quotes are gen­er­ally be­tween 380-390c/kg.

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If there is a pos­i­tive, it is that a few agents I was in con­tact with felt that num­bers of qual­ity in-spec steers were tight­en­ing and it was a sim­i­lar story for the heifers in par­tic ular ar­eas. Farm­ers were also find­ing it some­what eas­ier to get bulls killed and cow prices are hold­ing pretty firm.

STA­BILISED

The good news on the young bull front is that there is no fur­ther bad news to re­port this week! Quotes and prices ap­pear to have sta­bilised at 360-370c/kg for the U grades with the Rs at 350-360c/kg. O grades range from 320-340c/kg de­pend­ing on whether they are O-, O= or O+. A few farm­ers will­ing to travel have got up to 350c/kg for good O grade Friesians.

The best of the cull cows are mak­ing be­tween 330-350c/kg. Prices for the R grade cows varies from 320-340c/kg with the Os at 290-330c/kg. The P grades are mak­ing from 280290c/kg.

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Fin­ished c att l e pri c es con­tinue to be im­pacted by weak de­mand from key ex­port mar­kets ac­cord­ing to Bord Bia, par­tic­u­larly for man­u­fac­tur­ing beef. In gen­eral, quoted prices were back slightly on the pre­vi­ous week.

The prime cat­tle trade re­mained slow. The ma­jor­ity of steers were pur­chased at a base price of around €3.95-4.00 /kg on the Qual­ity Pay­ment Sys­tem which is iden­ti­cal to pre­vi­ous week’s prices. Heifers are trad­ing at a base price of €4.05-4.10 /kg. Th­ese prices ex­clude the €0.12/kg bonus which is payable on in-spec QA an­i­mals. Prices paid for cull cows were sim­i­lar to the pre­vi­ous week, with prices for the O grades gen­er­ally mak­ing be­tween €2.95-3.10/kg.

Cu­mu­la­tive sup­plies for the year are run­ning at 11,000 head or 8pc higher than t he cor­re­spond­ing pe­riod last year.

SUB­DUED

In Bri­tain, trade con­tin­ues to be sub­dued over the past week with plen­ti­ful sup­plies avail­able. Trade for fil­lets and rumps is re­ported to be rea­son­able at best. Re­ported cat­tle prices from the AHDB have fallen again with GB R4L grade steers av­er­ag­ing 489c/kg dead­weight, in­clud­ing VAT.

In France, trade was also slow as the mild weather con­tin­ues to af­fect de­mand for fore­quar­ter cuts. Prices in France for the R3 young bull were at €4.07 in­clud­ing VAT, while the 03 cow price was up 2c to €3.48/kg.

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