Much like the Wexford camogie girls in the first half against Cork last Sunday, the beef finishers appear to have soaked up the pressure being exerted by the processors and are now hoping that the firming up of prices is a positive sign.
While the kill continues to edge upwards, last week's estimated total of 29,330hd is still almost 4,000 behind the corresponding week last year.
Cattle supplies to date this year are running around 14pc or 150,600hd behind last year's levels.
Prices available for stock travelling to the North are also helping the trade in the Republic, with R-grade steers making a flat price of up to 401c/kg and R-grade bulls making €4/kg in a number of plants. Plainer bulls have made 390c/kg, while in the Republic those types are only commanding between 370-380c/kg.
Base quotes for the steers remain at 385-390c/kg.
Good sellers are generally securing the 390c/kg base, with the quality assured bonus of 6c/kg paid on top of this for qualifying cattle. The R-grade in-spec steer is making 397c/kg in Donegal Meats.
The heifer base quote seems to vary from 395c/kg to 405c/kg, with many farmers negotiating prices of a minimum of 400c/kg. Reports from the northeast suggest that 405-410c/kg has and continues to be paid. In the northwest, the R-grade in-spec heifer is making 403c/kg, with the Us up at 415c/kg.
The best I heard for good young bulls was 410c/kg and 400c/kg for U and R-grades. Generally, the quotes for those two grades are from 390c/kg to 400c/kg and 385-395c/kg respectively. O-grade quotes range from 370-380c/kg.
IFA livestock chairman, Henry Burns, said that cattle prices were stable at a base of 390c/kg for the bullocks and 405c/kg for heifers.
Good well-fleshed cull cows have strengthened somewhat. The tops are making from 350-370c/kg depending on where you sell. R-grades are commanding 340-360c/kg, with the Os ranging from 320c/kg to 345c/kg. P+ cow prices vary from 300-315c/kg.
The beef trade in Britain was similar to previous weeks, with tight supplies continuing to match current demand levels.
According to Bord Bia, cattle prices from the AHDB were relatively stable, with GB R4L grade steers averaging sterling 352.6p/kg deadweight (equivalent to 471c/kg including VAT deadweight) for the week ended September 8.
On the continent, trade across some of the key markets was mixed, with prices reflecting this pattern.
Demand continued to shift from hindquarter to forequarter cuts in the lead up to autumn.
In an effort to boost demand levels further, promotions are still evident across a number of the key export markets.
In France, Irish steer hinds were making up to €5.79/kg. R3 young bulls in Germany fell by 6c to €4.14/kg, with O3 cow prices decreasing by 7c to €3.55/kg. In Italy, R3 young bulls increased by 8c to €4.32/kg, while O3 cows increased by 1c to €3.31.kg.
- Joe Healy
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