The beef trade has cranked up another notch this week, with most factories moving up 5c/kg to 10c/kg on last week’s quotes.
Foyle Meats, Donegal, is still ahead of the pack, with its base price quote of €5.40/kg for heifers and €5.35/kg base price for bullocks killing out between 300kg and 400kg.
That leaves an in-spec quality assured (QA) U+ heifer coming in at a price of €5.84/kg this week in Donegal. At a 400kg carcase weight, she comes into €2,336.
The general run of bullock base quotes is ranging from €5.20/kg to €5.25/kg, with heifer base quotes working off €5.25/kg to €5.30/kg.
Cattle are still a little easier bought in the south, with a lot more competition for stock in the northern half of the country.
Numbers of cattle are talking at the moment and anybody with a load of finished cattle is in a very strong position in terms of negotiating a price.
All sorts of deals are being completed outside of these official quotes, with farmers advised to bargain hard on everything, from breed bonuses to haulage.
Flat prices of as high as €5.70/kg to €5.80/kg are being paid at the moment for mixes of Aberdeen Angus and Hereford cattle.
U grading cows are still hitting €5/kg to €5.10/kg, with those with high numbers of good cows able to squeeze a little more out of the market.
R grading cows are trading for as high as €4.90/kg to €4.95/kg, with good O grading cows coming in at €4.80/kg to €4.90/kg.
Well-fleshed P+3 cows are being quoted at €4.70/kg, but flat deals are available to those with higher numbers.
Agents have a lot of leeway at the moment in cattle purchasing, with strict instructions from procurement managers not to lose any cattle in the coming weeks.
Factory agents are regularly paying in excess of €3.00/kg for heavy well-fleshed cows, which is in excess of €5.50/kg beef price. The mart is still the place to go with small numbers of cows.
Bulls are also in demand, with U grading bulls now up at €5.50/kg in a couple of factories.
R grading bulls are working off €5.20/kg to €5.30/kg, depending on flesh cover. Deals are being done at €5.10/kg for mixes of Rs and Us.
Young bulls are working off €5.20/kg to €5.30/kg, with good demand from most factories.