The beef trade has remained very firm, with some factories having to pay more to secure finished cattle supplies in the last two weeks.

Taking a look at last week’s official Department of Agriculture prices printed in the Irish Farmers Journal, they show increases for both steers and heifers.

The average base grade (ABG) system is the average of the base grades on the EUROP pricing grid.

Each week, factories are ranked based on the average of the reported prices paid for the QPS base grades in the particular week of trading (ie animals grading R= and R- on conformation and from 2+ to 4= on fat score).

Prices include the 12c/kg bonus and the 20c/kg in-spec quality assurance (QA) bonus paid on eligible animals and/or any other bonuses.

Factories that are killing large proportions of Aberdeen Angus or Hereford progeny will come in higher where bonuses are being paid as part of the price.

Some factories use the ABG system to purchase cattle off larger suppliers. A full breakdown of prices paid for all grades of cattle is available each week at

Steers increased by 0.6c/kg last week, up from 438.3c/kg in the week previous.

ABP Bandon comes in top of the pile this week for bullocks with an ABG of 449.7c/kg, while Dunleavy Meats Mayo comes in at the bottom on 418.1c/kg

Heifers increased by 1c/kg to 443.4c/kg for last week, up from 442.4c/kg for the week previous.

Jennings Ballinrobe comes in top of the pile for heifers this week with an ABG of 458.4c/kg, while Dunleavy Meats Mayo comes in at the bottom on 425.4c/kg.