Beef quotes continue to improve this week with €4.40/kg base price being quoted for heifers. All-in deals of €4.80/kg have been paid to secure Aberdeen Angus heifers.

Finished cattle supplies remain very tight with factories anxious for stock. British demand is increasing with an extension of lockdown expected to increase consumer demand for beef for the summer.

This, coupled with the fact that the English soccer team has progressed to the quarter finals of the European Football Championships, means July will be a good month for beef sales.

Cull cows are an exceptional trade in marts with factory agents, factory feedlots and NI wholesalers all competing for slaughter-fit animals in the last week.

Marts are expected to receive a boost this week as the original reference period for the BEAM scheme closed on Tuesday 30 June.

Latest Department of Agriculture figures show that 16,042 BEAM farmers applied to defer the reference period. Analysis of their stocking rates indicates that just over 5,000 of the 16,042 are likely to meet their 5% bovine nitrates reduction requirement by 30 June.

If they do, the Department will be writing to those farmers in mid-late August advising them of this, and removing them from the BEAM deferment period.