Factory quotes for beef cattle this week seem to be in a firm position from the farmer’s perspective, with procurement officers confirming they are ‘standing on’, or giving the same price as last week for beef cattle.

Weather conditions look promising this week and the general consensus among beef farmers is that grass is plentiful and they are in no particular hurry to lift the phone to the procurement officer.

Favorable weather conditions – especially at this time of year – are a positive for the beef trade as it helps bring about a gradual transition in beef-kill trends between the grazing season and the winter-housing season.

Conversations with procurement staff around the country would indicate that factories remain very interested in cattle – in particular, for cows, heifers and steers – but it is worth noting that processors are getting kill sheets filled with a little more ease than previous weeks.

Starting with heifers and a base-price of €4.20/kg seems to be the general run this week, with €4.25/kg still available on the higher end of the scale.

There seems to be a little more bite to the heifer trade and processors are aware that it may take a few cents more per kilo to secure a nice bunch of well-fleshed heifers.

Looking at steer price this week and €4.15 – €4.20/kg is the general run, with most processors managing to fill their steer demand at this price.

Breed bonuses are still available on both Angus and Hereford cattle and farmers should enquire about agreements on possible weight bonuses and haulage costs.

Cow price is continuing strong, with weaker quotes moving up 5c/kg this week.

€3.95 and €3.85/kg is what’s on offer for U and R-grade cows respectively this week, with €3.65 and €3.55/kg being quoted for O and P-grade cows respectively

A strong mart trade was seen last week for beef cows – a trend which is expected to continue into this week and one which procurement officers are well aware of – so farmers sending cows for processing should not be afraid to ask for a few cent more on well-fleshed cows with carcass weights north of 270 – 280kg.

Under-24 month bulls are seeing a little more range in both price and interest from processors around the country, with some factories having plenty of jobs for bull-beef, with others citing ‘no interest at all’ in them.

Despite this, processors are quoting a flat price of €4.10 and €4.20/kg for R and U-grade bulls respectively, with good deals being done on bulls with suitable weights and fat scores making the ‘+’ in their respective grades.

Finally, under-16 month bulls seem to be coming in at €4.15 on the grid.

Last week’s kill figures will be made public tomorrow and it will be interesting to see if there has been any changes in the composition of the beef kill.

Stay tuned to Agriland for more.