The beef trade remains in a steady position this week, with most quotes remaining on a par with what was paid last week.

Bullocks are working off €4.50/kg to €4.55/kg and heifers working off €4.55/kg to €4.60/kg.

Foyle Meats, Donegal, is still out in front with its base quote of €4.65/kg for bullocks and €4.70/kg for heifers.

This quote excludes the 10c/kg bonus for carcases killing out between 300kg and 400kg and also excludes any breed bonuses.

Bonuses remain from 10c to 20c/kg in most factories for suitable quality assured Hereford and Aberdeen Angus cattle.

Four-day week

Most factories will only kill four days this week and there were some worries that demand may have been subdued this week, but factories are eager for stock in the face of dwindling numbers.

While the kill has touched 40,000 head in the last few weeks, it’s expected that numbers will start to drop off from next week onwards.


The cow trade remains under pressure, with some factories quoting €3.80/kg to €3.90/kg this week for P grading cows.

O grading cows are working off €4.00/kg to €4.20/kg, with R grading cows coming in at €4.30/kg to €4.40/kg.

Some factories specialising in cows are applying 5c to 10c/kg more, especially for good-quality young cows.

Global forecast for 2023

The latest United States Department of Agriculture forecast shows that global beef production will see a decline in 2023.

The USA will see one of the largest declines in production, forecast to be down 6.3% in 2023 or just over 800,000t. This is due to drought conditions in the last few years, which has forced suckler farms to cull hard.

Closer to home, the EU is forecast to be down 1.8% or 120,000t less compared with 2022.

Brazil, the world’s largest beef exporter, is forecast to be up 1% in production or 100,000t in 2023, while Australia is forecast to be up 13% or 260,000t in 2023.

Global exports are also forecast to decline, dropping 1.2% in 2023 to 12.1 million tonnes. This is linked to lower demand, particularly from China, which is forecast to ramp up beef production by 375,000t in 2023.