Beef trade: Continue to bargain hard

For the most part, the majority of beef factories are quoting 370-375c/kg for steers and heifers, with factory agents continuing their hunt for slaughter-ready animals to satisfy demand.

The message is clear: bargain hard when it comes to marketing your animals, as supplies are tight across the country – which has resulted in higher prices.

Additionally, there is little change to the bull trade, with continued variation across plants.

Bull base quotes amount to 360c/kg for R-grades in the main, with O-grades hovering around the 340-350c/kg mark; U-grading bulls are making approximately 370c/kg.

Moving to cows, factory buyers are currently starting negotiations with farmers at 290-300c/kg for P-grade cows, 300-310c/kg for O-grade animals and 320-330c/kg for R-grade lots.

€100/head payment

As announced on Wednesday, August 5, the Covid-19 related compensation package – the Beef Finishers Payment (BFP) – will consist of a €100/head payment for animals that were slaughtered from February 1 to June 12, 2020.

All animals that were over eight months-of-age are eligible for the payment – up to a maximum of 100 animals – bringing the total claimable amount to €10,000.

It is said that some 42,000 farmers will be able to apply for the payment.

Also Read: Details of €50 million Beef Finishers Payment revealed

While this is welcome news for those finishers that slaughtered cattle during this period, last week, the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) highlighted that exported cattle will not be eligible for the payment.

Since moving cattle across the border to Northern Ireland is classed as exporting, those who sent finished cattle north of the border will not receive the payment.

Cattle prices in the north have witnessed a period of time above Irish beef prices. And, as a result, farmers took advantage and moved finished cattle north.

Additionally, northern factory agents and buyers made their presence felt in marts in recent months in a bid to feed the demand north of the border.