Beef prices remain similar on Monday to where they were last week, with no real change in the morning’s quotes.

Bullocks continue to be quoted at €3.80/kg.

Factories appear anxious for cattle, but have managed the supply line to perfection and so far have managed to resist having to pay big increases to finishers.

Heifers are being quoted at €3.85/kg, but €3.90/kg and more is being paid in many cases to secure supplies.

Deals of €3.85/kg are also being struck for mixed loads of bullocks and heifers.

Flat deals available

Flat deals are being put on the table by a few factory agents this week in a bid to tempt finished animals their way.

Aberdeen Angus cattle appear to be in particular demand, with €4.10/kg being quoted by some factories in flat deals to get stock.

Hereford bonuses have also increased, with 15c/kg being quoted for suitable Hereford stock. The appetite for these traditional-bred cattle would point to a very healthy retail trade across the water in the UK.

Bull demand is good, with €3.80/kg to €3.85/kg being paid for R grading bulls, while U grading bulls are moving at €3.90/kg to €3.95/kg.

Under-16-month bulls are being quoted at €3.80/kg to €3.85/kg base.

Cow trade

P grading cows are being quoted at €3.15/kg in some factories, with more going if there are numbers of well-fleshed cows involved.

O grading cows are on €3.25/kg to €3.35/kg for good O grades. R grades are being quoted between €3.50/kg and €3.65/kg for good-quality well-fleshed suckler-bred cows.

Beef imports into the UK are back substantially on 2020 figures

The Irish beef price continues to lag behind the UK beef price, with some larger finishers being quoted at €5.10/kg to €5.20/kg for in-spec Aberdeen Angus bullocks.

Beef imports into the UK are back substantially on 2020 figures, falling 36% in January.

Irish beef exports to the UK dropped back to 10,200t in January 2021, a drop of 32% on the 2020 figures.

Bord Bia price tracker

Bord Bia’s beef price tracker shows that the difference between the prime Irish composite price and the prime export composite price continues to be 12c/kg.

Figure 1 outlines the beef price differential between the two prices.

Table 1 outlines the beef price in Ireland, the UK and the EU beef price.

Since 6 February 2021 the Irish steer price has decreased by 1c/kg, from €3.82/kg to €3.81/kg excl VAT.

The EU young bull price has improved by 4c/kg, from €3.71 to €3.75/kg, while the UK steer price has improved by 19c/kg, up from €4.37/kg to €4.56/kg over the same period.