There was a €150 gap between the best and worst prices paid for cattle in the Republic of Ireland last year, Irish Farmers Journal meat factory price analysis reveals.

At the top end, the 37.2c/kg gap between the top and bottom factory works out at €150 for a U=3= young bull. The gap on the R=3= steer, one of the most popular beef grades, is 24.7c/kg. This works out at €94 per head on a 380kg carcase.

Overall prices were only 2c/kg better than 2019, a particularly bad year for beef prices.

The coronavirus pandemic interrupted production in some factories and all businesses had to adapt to a changed market where retail outlets increased sales at the expense of food service and hospitality, which were closed.

This benefited large factory groups with supermarket contracts.