The beef trade remains buoyant this week, as supplies of finished cattle remain tight, with factories still having a strong appetite for supplies to fill large Christmas retail orders.

Bullocks are moving at €3.75/kg, with some plants quoting €3.80/kg for a mix of bullocks and heifers to secure numbers.

There isn’t a lot of change in the heifer market, with heifers being quoted at €3.75/kg to €3.80/kg in all plants.

Hereford and Angus cattle remain the breed of choice at the moment with procurement managers, with premiums of up to 20c/kg for the right type of animals being paid.

Factories have also been prepared to pay as high as €4.15/kg flat for these type of cattle to secure loads.

Cow trade

Quotes for good R grading cows are at €3.20/kg to €3.30/kg, with O grades coming in at €2.90/kg to €3.00/kg and P grades at €2.80/kg to €2.90/kg.

Factory agents continue to be very active for all classes of stock and especially cows in marts around the country. In a lot of cases, they are paying way in excess of what animals are worth to kill in factories at current prices.


Bulls continue to trade at €3.75/kg for R grades and €3.80/kg for U grading bulls. Young bulls are being quoted at €3.65/kg to €3.70/kg, depending on quality and numbers.

Heavy bulls and out-of-spec bulls are being sought by some factories to fill special orders.

Kill totals

A total of 1,653,459 head of cattle have been processed up to the week ending 28 November. This figure represents an increase of 38,849 head on the corresponding period in 2019, with throughput levels 2.4% higher so far this year.

Steer throughput for the year to date has increased by 11% compared with 2019 levels, with heifer throughput increasing by 2.3%.

According to Bord Bia, the Irish composite cattle price for week ending 28 November was €3.43/kg deadweight excluding VAT, compared with the export benchmark price of €3.47/kg.