The latest lift in factory quotes has made an ‘all in’ beef price of €5.02/kg available to farmers who have cattle meeting certain specifications.

The strength in the cattle trade continues to gather momentum this week as most processors opened quotes this morning, Monday, February 7, at 5c/kg higher than last week’s quotes with at least one processor moving up 10c/kg on its quote from last Monday.

Another processor had said its cattle quotes were at the same level as last week but then admitted they “might be able to give a bit more” for prime cattle.

The top quote for this week came from a processor based in the north-west of the country which cited a quote of €4.45/kg on the grid for heifers this week.

The latest rise sees €5.00/kg now available for certain heifers and one factory agent in the northern half of the country admitted paying €5.02/kg to a farmer for “an exceptional Angus heifer today”.

How is over €5/kg factory price being paid?

Assuming a farmer had an Angus heifer which graded a U-3-, had a carcass weight of 350kgs, and was bought at a grid price of €4.45/kg.

This carcass would be eligible for a 12c/kg grid bonus (U- is up 12c), a 20c/kg QPS bonus and a 25c/kg Angus breed bonus leaving the carcass priced at €5.02/kg or €1,757 for the heifer.

However, it is important to point out that the largest majority of suckler-bred Angus heifers tend to make an R grade while Angus heifers of dairy dams generally make an O-grade.

So while U grading Angus heifers are a rare commodity in the country, the news that their beef is making over €5.00/kg – in at least one beef factory – will be welcomed by beef farmers and it is hoped as demand continues to improve, this price may become more freely available on other cattle also.