Quotes continue to move in the right direction, with Foyle Meats in Donegal taking the biggest jump up this week.

It increased its quotes for bullocks and heifers by 10c/kg this week. This is the quote for bullocks and heifers killing out between 300kg and 400kg carcase weight.

This brings its quote to €4.70/kg for bullocks and €4.75/kg for heifers. This is before any breed bonuses, in-spec bonuses or quality grid payments are made.

Demand is outstripping supplies in some locations, with factories now ramping up production capacity over the next few weeks to fill the lucrative Christmas market.

The general run of prices is €4.60/kg for bullocks and €4.65/kg for heifers. Bigger operators and regular customers are working off 5c to 10c/kg more than quoted prices.

British R3 bullocks are trading 93c/kg (€353 on a 380kg carcase) ahead of Irish prices.

The Bord Bia beef price tracker shows a 33c/kg differential between Irish prices and that of our main markets.

U3 young bulls in France were trading at €5.61/kg last week, while U3 young bulls in Italy have increased in price to €5.90/kg.

Bull trade

The bull trade remains pretty stable, with €4.80/kg being paid for U grading under-24-month bulls this week.

R grading bulls are being quoted at €4.70/kg to €4.80/kg, with a little more going to regular suppliers and those with numbers.

O and P grading bulls are trading at 5c/kg to 10c/kg less than this.

Under-16-month bulls are generally working off a base price of €4.60/kg to €4.65/kg.

Cow prices

Good, well-fleshed cows remain a solid trade. Light P1 parlour cows remain under pressure, with many factories shying away from the poorer cows, with some quoting under €2/kg for parlour cows.

Well-fleshed P+3 cows continue to trade at €3.70/kg to €3.80/kg, depending on weight and quality.

O grading cows are working off €3.90/kg to €4.10/kg, while good R grading cows are coming in at €4.10/kg to €4.30/kg.

U grading cows are being quoted at €4.30/kg to €4.40/kg.