Factories continue to play hardball when it comes to beef quotes this week, but haven’t been able to drop quotes as much as they would have liked.

Some factories had been talking about reducing bullock quotes to €5/kg on Friday for Monday morning purchases, but this hasn’t materialised, with all factories quoting base prices of between €5.05/kg and €5.10/kg for bullocks for this week’s purchases.

Heifers are working off base prices of €5.10/kg to €5.15/kg, with €5.20/kg still being paid at the top end of the market by a number of factories.

Agents are reporting very few finished cattle coming on stream over the next few weeks, with some in the industry predicting a price rise inside the next three weeks when the shortage in finished cattle supplies starts to hit factories.

Bull trade

The young bull trade remains pretty steady, with €5.25/kg on the table for U grading young bulls in some of the factories specialising in bulls.

R grading bulls are moving at €5.10/kg to €5.15/kg, while O and P grading bulls are being paid out at 10c to 20c/kg less.

Under-16-month bulls are generally working off €5.10/kg to €5.15/kg base price, with the 12c/kg in-spec bonus being added in along with grading for the final price.

Cull cows

Cull cows also remain a very solid trade, despite the increased number of cows coming on the market.

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 this week.

R grading cows are working off €4.40/kg to €4.50/kg, with O grading suckler cows coming in at €4.30/kg, while P grading are working off €4.00/kg to €4.10/kg, depending on weight and flesh cover.