The general run of quotes is €4.80/kg to €4.90/kg base price for heifers, while bullocks are working off €4.75/kg to €4.85/kg. Some factories have paid €4.95/kg this week to suppliers with big numbers.

Meanwhile, €4.85/kg has been paid for mixes of good bullocks and heifers this week and those with numbers are in the driving seat, with factories very eager to do business with those with numbers.

Flat prices for R=R- Aberdeen Angus heifers are hitting as high as €5.35/kg this week.

There was some chat last week about delays in getting cattle killed.

It’s an age-old trick from procurement managers to flush out cattle. All factories are very eager for stock and will continue to be as numbers decline in the weeks ahead.

Cow prices

U grading cows are still hitting €4.60/kg to €4.70/kg, with those with high numbers of good cows able to squeeze a little more out of the market.

R grading cows are trading for as high as €4.50/kg, with good O grading cows coming in at €4.40/kg.

Well-fleshed P+3 cows have been paid out at €4.30/kg this week just to secure other cattle as part of a load.

The mart is still the best choice for good-quality cows if you are selling small numbers.

Most factories have active agents competing for stock in marts around the country and some very big prices (close to €3/kg) being paid in some cases for the right type of stock.


Bulls are also in demand, with U grading bulls now up at €5/kg in a couple of factories.

R grading bulls are working off €4.90/kg to €4.95/kg, depending on flesh cover.

Last week’s kill came in at 37,634 head, with a big jump in the bullock kill. The kill is now running 46,684 head of cattle ahead of the same period in 2021.

Across the water, the beef price took a big jump for the week ending 2 April 2022.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) reported a 10p/kg increase in the young bull price on the previous week.

This brings last week’s price up to 414p/kg or €5.20/kg for young bulls.


R4L heifers were also up 6p/kg last week, coming into a price of €5.47/kg incl VAT.

Further afield across Europe, the beef trade is on fire, with U3 young bulls at €6.08/kg in Germany last week.

This time last year, German US young bulls were trading at €4.04/kg.

The Netherlands beef market is also hitting new heights, with R3 heifers currently trading at €5.50/kg.

Across the world, a shortage of VL product is driving world beef prices, with both Brazil and the USA capitalising on the increased global demand.

NI slaughters

The number of cattle moving north for slaughter has crossed 400 head for the first time in 2022.

Numbers have been generally running between 250 and 350 head per week, with a total of 3,948 head exported to NI for direct slaughter in 2022.

This is back from 4,377 head for the same period in 2022.

NI comment

Beef prices in Northern Ireland are benefitting as processing demand ramps up across the UK, with manufacturing beef in particular boosting the trade.

Cull cows are making upwards from 370p/kg (€4.70/kg inc VAT) for R3 grading animals, although quotes are lagging well behind on 344p/kg (€4.37/kg).

Quotes on prime cattle are up 8p to 420p/kg (€5.33/kg) for U-3 grading animals. Again, this is well short of what is being paid as price deals have moved up a notch from last week.

Steers are making 430p to 432p/kg (€5.46 to €5.49/kg), with good-quality in-spec heifers pushing upwards to 436p/kg (€5.54/kg). Young bulls are being bought at deals up to 424p/kg (€5.38/kg).