Monday morning’s beef quotes have edged up another notch, with the Donegal Meats base price for heifers now just a tantalising 5c/kg off €5/kg at €4.95/kg base price.
A U+ quality assured heifer is now coming into €5.39/kg, which would see a 380kg heifer kill into just over €2,000 at €2,048/head.
Bullocks in Donegal are working off 5cent less at a base price of €4.90/kg.
The general run of quotes is €4.80/kg to €4.85/kg base price for heifers, while bullocks are working off €4.75/kg to €4.80/kg.
Meanwhile, €4.85/kg has been paid for mixes of good bullocks and heifers this week and those with numbers are in the driving seat, with factories very eager to do business with those with numbers.
Flat prices for R=R- Aberdeen Angus heifers are hitting as high as €5.35/kg this week.
U grading cows are still hitting €4.60/kg to €4.70/kg, with those with high numbers of good cows able to squeeze a little more out of the market.
As one agent put it to me: “Cows are a bonus at the moment and factories are bending the pricing card to get them.”
R grading cows are trading for as high as €4.50/kg, with good O grading cows coming in at €4.40/kg.
Well fleshed P+3 cows have been paid at €4.30/kg this week just to secure other cattle as part of a load.
Bulls in demand
Bulls are also in demand, with U grading bulls now up at €4.95/kg in a couple of factories. R grading bulls are working off €4.80/kg to €4.85/kg.
There continues to be a lot of talk about feed costs and finishing cattle in general.
A lot of the big feeders currently on a contract price for 60 to 70 days have been covered for the higher feed costs.
There remains a lot of uncertainty for later in the year and with the prospects of €3/kg stores, €50/bale silage and €500/t concentrates being fed to finishing cattle next winter, finishers would want to be having long and hard conversations with factories about a contract beef price.
You can bet your bottom dollar, they’re already having similar conversations with their buyers.