In this week’s factory quotes, some of the stronger-paying outlets have held their price quotes at last week’s levels while others have moved price quotes up a further 5-10c/kg.
Supplies of finished cattle in Ireland are running ahead of last year’s levels for the first two weeks of the year with over 3,600 additional cattle processed in the opening two weeks of 2023.
Market forecasts and beef trade outlooks would suggest that the numbers of available finished cattle will tighten significantly over the coming weeks, while demand is expected to remain strong.
This will likely lead to a continued positive market scenario for farmers selling beef cattle over the coming weeks.
While price is moving in the right direction, factory quotes for heifers and steers (bullocks) are still a considerable amount below the breakeven figures required for winter-beef finishers as outlined by Teagasc.
Heifers and steers
Heifer price is being quoted at €5.20-5.25/kg on the grid at the stronger-paying outlets this week. Factory quotes for bullocks are being quoted at €5.10-5.20/kg on the grid.
Breed bonuses ranging from 10-30c/kg are available on suitable Angus and Hereford heifers and steers.
With the demand for Irish beef appearing to be very strong in current markets and supplies for cattle appearing to be below the demand level, it appears that positive price pressure could remain on cattle price for a considerable number of weeks.
Agents and procurement staff are very active calling to farmers over the past few days and are anxious to secure any factory-fit cattle that are available.
With the supply-demand scenario remaining firmly in the farmer’s favour, farmers are often managing to secure flat-price deals and are benefitting from price negotiations with their factory representative.
Cow price has also moved up this week, but there remains significant variation in cow price between outlets.
The mart trade remains strong for all types of cows and farmers who are unhappy with the price being offered for their cows at the factory should consider selling at the mart.
U-grade cows are being quoted at flat prices ranging from €4.90-5.00/kg this week, with €4.80-4.90/kg being quoted for R-grade cows. Reports suggest some outlets are willing to pay substantially more where quality, fleshed, R- and U-grade cows are presented.
O-grade cows are being quoted at €4.60-4.70/kg and P-grade cows are ranging from €4.40-4.50/kg.
Bull price remains strong with €5.30/kg being quoted for U-grade, under-24-month bulls at the higher end of the price scale this week.
A flat-price of €5.20/kg, €5.10/kg and €5.00/kg is on offer for R-, O- and P-grade bulls respectively this week.
Under-16-month bulls are being quoted at €5.10-5.15/kg on the grid.