The mood in the beef trade has started off positively this week, with prices remaining very steady and no changes to quotes across the board.

Last week’s dry weather was playing into factories hands a little, with some farmers in the south under pressure to offload stock.

For the second time in the last two months, rain has saved the day and this week’s forecast of more rain will reduce the pressure on grass supplies further.

This will take any pressure that was there off cattle supplies in the short term.

Bullock and heifer quotes

Bullocks continue to work off €4.25/kg to €4.30/kg, while heifers are generally being quoted at €4.30/kg to €4.35/kg.

Meanwhile, €4.40/kg is still available for heifers killing out between 300kg and 400kg in Foyle Meats, Donegal.

Hereford and Aberdeen Angus cattle are still top of the pile in terms of quotes, with up to 20c/kg available on in-spec cattle.

Some of the leeway might be gone in getting quality assurance on 4+ and 5 fat scores and some factories are also operating a little tighter on weight limits, but demand continues to be very strong, with an open-door policy being operated with getting cattle killed. Reduced capacity across the water

COVID-19-related issues in the meat industry across the water has meant some factories have had to reduce capacity over the last two weeks.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that this has increased orders coming into Irish factories, with particular focus on manufacturing beef orders. This has seen cows improve a little on price in some factories this week.

Cow prices

Good R grading suckler-bred cows are now being quoted at €3.85/kg to €3.95/kg, with U grading cows at €4.00/kg to €4.05/kg.

O grading cows are working off €3.70/kg to €3.80/kg, with P grading cows coming in at €3.65/kg to €3.70/kg, depending on quality and flesh.

Under-16-month young bulls continue to work off €4.20/kg to €4.25/kg on the grid, with under-24-month bulls being quoted at €4.25/kg to €4.30/kg for R grading bulls and €4.30/kg to €4.35/kg for U grading bulls.