Factories monitoring the situation carefully as Storm Emma brings snow

Factories are monitoring road conditions carefully to see if the adverse weather conditions – experienced by Ireland over the past 24 hours and forecast to continue until the end of the week – will have an affect on cattle numbers and processing capability.

As it stands, the kill lines in Kildare Chilling, Dawn, Kepak, Slaney, ABP and Liffey Meats are all operational. However, beef buyers are monitoring the situation on a hour-to-hour and day-to-day basis.

In anticipation of Storm Emma, a number of factories front loaded throughput and brought more cattle in for slaughtering on Monday, Tuesday and today (February 28).

Factories – especially those with operations in the south and east – are monitoring the weather carefully. The possibility of closures towards the end of the week has yet to be ruled out and any decisions made will be done so with the best interest of supplies and staff in mind, AgriLand understands.

What are factories offering?

For the most part, factory buyers are offering 390-395c/kg for steers and 400-405c/kg for heifers. When compared to the corresponding week in 2017, these base quotes are up 20c/kg.

As has been the case in recent weeks, cow prices continue to remain firm. Factory buyers are currently starting negotiations with farmers at 325c/kg for P-grade cows, 330c/kg for O-grade animals and 350c/kg for R-grade lots.

Over recent days, factory buyers have been busy at the ringside sourcing cows. Many of the better-quality lots purchased achieved prices in excess of €2/kg.

Weather update

A Status Red weather warning has been issued for five counties following heavy snowfall and freezing conditions overnight.

Met Eireann has issued its highest level alert for the counties of Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow. The alert will remain in place until noon tomorrow (March 1).

The national forecaster has reported snow accumulations of between 5cm and 10cm in some eastern counties.

A Status Orange weather alert has been extended to the counties of Cork, Waterford and Wexford. The alert will also remain valid until noon tomorrow.

This is in addition to an earlier Status Orange warning issued for the counties of Laois and Carlow, which is valid until 11:00am this morning. Met Eireann has said further updates will be issued in due course.