It’s seldom beef quotes go up in September, but 2021 has been a different year in terms of factory quotes and it continues to throw up some surprises.
This week’s price rise is fuelled by demand. I’ve heard some chat in the trade in recent days that the UK is ramping up orders and this has fuelled an increased demand at an Irish processor level.
A tightness in supply in the UK trade has led to further price increases across the water and this has meant that some customers - particularly in the food service side of the trade - have started to concentrate more on imported product, of which Irish supplies are at the top of their list.
Donegal Meats was the first processor to move at the end of last week, putting heifers at €4.35/kg.
This includes the 10c/kg in-spec bonus for animals killing out between 300kg and 400kg.
Heifers have, in general, moved to €4.25/kg across the board, with a number of processors increasing quotes on Monday morning in order to get cattle.
Bullocks have also moved up to €4.20/kg in a number of locations. However, some agents are a little cooler on increasing bullock quotes as opposed to heifers.
Some weaker outfits are trying to hold prices at last week’s quotes. However, most are expected to move by the middle of the week.
Flat prices have also moved up in the last couple of days, with a few of the smaller operators increasing quotes to €4.60/kg to €4.70/kg for Aberdeen Angus cattle.
Young bull quotes remain relatively unchanged with under 16 month bulls working off €4.10-€4.15/kg. Under 24 month bulls are being quoted at €4.20 for R grades with 5-10 cent more being paid for U grading bulls.
The cow trade continues on a very steady footing, with R grading cows still being quoted at €3.85/kg to €3.90/kg.
U grading cows are coming in at €4.00/kg and a little shade more where there are numbers involved.
Wholesalers have been very active around mart rings in the last week, with factory-fit cows making way in excess of what cows are worth to go the factory route. For those with small numbers, the mart is the place to sell.