With temperatures as high as 29° forecast for this week and a High Temperature Advisory warning in place, the beef trade is feeling the heat too and quotes are holding on par with last weeks prices.
Firstly, taking a look at heifers, the general run this week is a base price of €4.30/kg on the grid for in-spec, Quality Assured (QA) heifers.
On steer price, €4.25/kg on the grid seems to be what most beef processors have on offer this week for bullocks matching the same criteria as the heifers mentioned above.
Some plants are offering farmers an additional 10c/kg for cattle with carcass weights of between 300kg and 400kg.
A breed bonus of 10c/kg is available for Hereford heifers and steers and up to 20c/kg can be got for Angus heifers and steers, providing these cattle meet the factories’ carcass specifications.
Beef trade: Cows
On the cow price front this week, quotes are coming in at flat prices of €3.50/kg for P-grade cows, €3.60/kg for O-grade, cows €3.80/kg for R-grade cows and €3.90/kg for U grade cows – with scope for more money where a farmer has a suitable bunch of good cows on offer.
Mart prices over the weekend for well-fleshed cows, would also further indicate there is scope for more money to be secured for good beef cows.
The above quotes are available to farmers who have well-fleshed cows with a fat score of 2+ or above and a carcass weight of over approximately 270kg. Lighter cows and cows that are short of flesh or lean are priced differently.
Bulls are being quoted at €4.10 – 4.15/kg on the grid for under 16-month bulls with top prices of €4.20/kg on the grid being quoted for young bulls.
Under 24-month bulls are being quoted at flat prices of €3.90/kg for P-grades, €4/kg for O-grades, €4.20/kg for R-grades and €4.30/kg for U-grade bulls.
Some factories appear very keen for bulls while others are citing reduced interest in them as they are going to greater lengths to fill the kill sheets with higher numbers of heifers and steers.
Talking points among players in the cattle trade today included the ongoing hot weather and how farmers killing cattle off grass are being positively surprised with how their cattle have killed out.
One farmer even remarked: ‘The good weather and heat is as good to me as 10c/kg extra on the beef’.