Quotes have started off the bank holiday week on a positive note, with beef quotes relatively unchanged from last week.
Most factories continue to work off a base price of €5.20/kg to €5.25/kg for steers, with the higher end of these quotes going to bigger suppliers. Heifers are also along similar lines to last week, with quotes ranging from €5.30/kg to €5.35/kg, depending on the supplier and again numbers involved.
A few factories are trying to play games with farmers, kicking cattle out a few days and blaming big numbers for doing so.
New customers are being welcomed with open arms and if you were switching from one factory to another at the moment, it’s a matter of hours you will be waiting and not days.
One other main reason is that most factories are concentrating on big numbers of cows for the manufacturing beef trade.
All factories involved in breed bonus schemes are every active for suitable stock. Factory agents have had to move to marts in a lot of cases to secure suitable supplies.
Breed bonuses for Aberdeen Angus cattle are as high as 30c/kg in some locations. Hereford Prime has increased its bonus rate for Hereford cattle in the coming weeks.
The higher bonus will be available at all ABP Group and Kepak Group sites throughout Ireland for qualifying steers and heifers.
The spring/summer 2023 off-season bonus will be available from 20 March to 19 May (weeks 12 to 20). Animals booked in by 17 February will be eligible for the higher off-season bonus.
Top of the league
A number of the independents are still top of the league when it comes to bulls.
The best I have heard this week is €5.50/kg for under-24-month U grading bulls.
R grading bulls are working off €5.30/kg to 5.40/kg in most locations, with €5.20/kg and €5.10/kg on the table for O and P grading bulls.
Under-16-month bulls are being bought at €5.20/kg to €5.30/kg base price on the grid.
Cows are in big demand, with P+3 cows working off €4.50/kg to €4.60/kg, with O grading cows coming in at €4.60/kg to €4.80/kg this week.
R grading cows are generally being quoted at €4.80/kg to €4.90/kg, with U grading cows now moving to €5.10/kg to €5.20/kg.
There are lots of deals on the table to get good cows, with R grading cows being bought at U grading prices in some instances.
The mart ring is the place to sell your cows if you have small numbers, with agents competing very hard around mart rings to purchase heavy cows.