The cold snap in the weather has made its way to factory lairages this week, with some factories making a move to try to reduce quotes if they can.

Some have tried to float a base of €5.10/kg for bullocks, but most are paying €5.15/kg when pressure is applied.

The majority of factories are also quoting a similar price for heifers as they were last week.

Foyle Meats in Donegal remains at the top of the market with its quote of €5.35/kg for heifers killing out between 300kg and 400kg and €5.30/kg base price for bullocks killing out between 300kg and 400kg.

The move to reduce quotes when some of the most expensive cattle of the year are being finished is being met with a lot of frustration and anger in beef finishing circles.

Aberdeen Angus bonuses continue to be paid out between 25c and 30c/kg, while Hereford bonuses range from 20c to 25c/kg.

Numbers of finished cattle remain tight on the ground and farmers are advised to bargain hard when selling.


The young bull trade remains in a steadier position, with €5.40/kg continuing to be on the table for U grading young bulls.

R grading bulls are being quoted at €5.25/kg to €5.35/kg, while O and P grading bulls are being paid out at 10c/kg less.

Under-16-month bulls are generally working off €5.15/kg to €5.20/kg base price, with the 12c/kg in-spec bonus being added in along with grading for the final price.


Cull cows also remain a very solid trade. U grading suckler cows are still top of the market, with €4.70/kg to €4.80/kg being paid for good-quality, young, well-fleshed cows.

R grading cows are a similar trade to last week and are working off €4.60/kg to €4.70/kg, with O grading suckler cows coming in at €4.40/kg, while P grading cows are working off €4.20/kg to €4.30/kg, depending on weight and flesh cover.

Commenting on the current situation with the beef trade, Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) national livestock chair Declan Hanrahan said: “Attempts by factories to take advantage of the weather difficulties farmers are enduring is unacceptable. Market conditions and the supplies of finished cattle justify stronger beef prices.

"The prime export benchmark price increased a further 4c/kg in the latest Bord Bia report reflecting the demand for beef in our key export markets. Our prices are currently over 10c/kg behind this time last year, while beef prices in our largest market - the UK - are running over 12c/kg ahead of last year for the latest reported week.”