Processors are willing to take another 5c/kg off the listings

Traditionally, as the year rolls from September to October, the mills and their weed-based farmer suppliers take stock of their next steps.

or both, the weather can now decide from week to week becomes an important factor. The coming week looks set to see heavy rain both today and tomorrow, with things drying out on Thursday. After that, the weekend is reported as “restless”.

So What could the first really choppy week of fall 2022 do to shipments and factory quotes?

Nothing good seems to be the accepted wisdom.

After last week’s prices held up against expectations, it was said at the weekend that processors would drop by a further 5 cents/kg to €4.65/kg for steers and €4.70/kg for heifers.

The reason is easy to understand: in the week ending September 25, the number of deaths in export factories reached 37,265, with similar figures expected for the last week or stronger.

It can be argued that with total annual kills at 92,497 versus 2021’s 1,286,054, the decline has to come into play at some point if factory demand remains strong. The problem is that we haven’t reached that point yet.

With temperatures still mild, the prospect of a wet week at this time of year would not normally bring large additional volumes to market, but this is not a normal year.

Most grass farms would normally have already raised their first and maybe even second cohort of finished cattle for slaughter, and Start with the premise that with careful grass management and the addition of forage and the occasional round bale could expect to extend their grazing season through the end of this monthand into November in the east and south.

But factories are already seeing increasing numbers of underflesh animals come through their gatesindicating that three things happened this year that were not normal:

■ The amount of grass produced was nowhere near the required amount due to the reduced amounts of fertilizer due to costs.

■ Near-drought affected the large fattening areas in the south and east.

■ The cost of concentrates became prohibitive Throughout the year its use as a supplement to counteract the lack of weed has been limited.

For those who chose to feed, yields have been good, especially in the better physique animals. But for those with dairy-bred Friesians, even at base prices of €4.70/kg what they gained weight, the grid brought the price down.

In a year when the net was suspended for months – resulting in some of the best factory prices on record for steers and heifers – and with slaughter cow prices equaling those for prime beef, why haven’t farmer representatives championed the Option to have flat pricing running alongside the grid permanently? A missed opportunity. Processors are willing to take another 5c/kg off the listings

Fry Electronics Team

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