It doesn’t matter whether you have bulls, bullocks or P grading cows this week, factories want cattle and are willing to do deals, no matter what type of stock you have.
The book with the weight limits has been thrown out the window with every weight of animal now in play.
Bullocks are generally moving this week at €4.40/kg to €4.50/kg with Foyle Meats, Donegal, out in front with their quote of €4.60/kg base price for bullocks killing out between 300kg and 400kg.
Heifers have also improved in some plants, with €4.50/kg to €4.55/kg base price being paid in most factories.
Donegal are again out in front with its base price of €4.65/kg for heifers killing out between 300kg and 400kg.
That means an under-30-month U=3+ heifer weighing 350kg is coming into €1,760 (€5.03/kg).
Aberdeen Angus bonuses have also improved in the last week, with some factories moving to 30c/kg for in-spec cattle. Hereford cattle are now at 20c/kg bonus on top of quality assurance and grid bonuses.
Factory agents are extremely anxious for cattle putting in calls and calling into yards looking for finished animals.
A combination of lower numbers available and a lot of traditional smaller finishers opting out of the winter finishing business this year has meant that finished cattle are in very short supply.
The ball is firmly at the farmers' foot and farmers should use this power to sell hard in the next few weeks.
The manufacturing beef trade continues to be very strong with cows still a very solid trade. Some factories have improved cow quotes and there are reports of €3.90/kg to €4.00/kg for mixes of O and P grading cows of being paid to some farmers.
R and U grading cows are being quoted as high as €4.40/kg, with smaller lots of P grading cows back at €3.85/kg to €3.90/kg.
Bulls are back in vogue, with some factories now up at €4.65/kg for U grading under-24-month bulls.
R grading bulls are working off €4.40/kg to €4.45/kg, with deals completed for loads of black and white O and P bulls at €4.20/kg to €4.30/kg.
Under-16-month bulls are being quoted at €4.40/kg, but €4.45/kg has been paid to regular suppliers.