It’s another positive start to the beef trade this week, with factory quotes increasing for the second week in a row.
Bullocks have taken a 5c to 10c/kg lift on Monday morning, as base quotes now range from €4.65/kg to €4.85/kg, with the higher end of quotes going to regular suppliers dealing with bigger numbers.
Heifers have also seen a lift in price, with most processors working off a base of between €4.70/kg and €4.90/kg, with talk of possibly more on offer by the end of this week.
Supplies of finished cattle have really tightened up in the last 10 days and this has coincided with a lift in demand, which means factories have been left with no choice but to increase quotes to get cattle.
Offers of free transport, increased breed bonuses and no weight limits on heavy cattle have also came back onto the table in a bid to lure more cattle into lairages.
Young bull quotes have also improved, with some processors lifting their bull quotes by as much as 20c/kg last week.
U grading under-24-month bulls are being quoted from €4.90/kg to €5.00/kg in factories this week, with R grading bulls coming in at €4.80/kg to €4.90/kg depending on numbers and type of bulls involved.
O grading bulls are coming in at €4.60/kg to €4.80/kg. Under-16-month bulls are working off €4.60/kg to €4.70/kg on the grid.
Cows have also seen a lift in price, with wholesalers and factory agents back around mart rings picking up any cows that are factory fit.
U and R grading suckler cows are being quoted at €4.40/kg to €4.55/kg this week, with more being paid by specialised operators for the right type of young cow.
O grading cows are being quoted at €4.30/kg to €4.35/kg with more being added when pressure is applied.
P grading dairy cows are still a little harder sold, with flesh cover and weight being the main determinant of price paid. Well-covered P grading cows are being sold for up to €3.90/kg, with poorer, lighter cows lacking flesh being bought as low as €3.20/kg.
Beef quotes across the water in Britain continue to improve, with R4L heifers coming in at €5.59/kg last week, with the Scottish heifer price coming in at €5.65/kg last week.
Supplies of finished cattle remain tight across the water in the middle of the peak Christmas demand. Farmers are being advised to dig in hard over the next three weeks as supplies of finished cattle continue to contract.