Factories have used the current poor weather conditions to apply further pressure to the beef trade.

Some factories have moved quotes to as low as €4.60/kg for bullocks midweek.

Most are paying €4.65/kg, with some smaller operators still working off €4.70/kg for any cattle bought this week.

Heifers are generally working off 5c to 10c/kg higher than bullocks.

Larger finishers are working off quotes 10c to 25c/kg higher than the farmer finishers.

Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bonuses are being paid at 10c to 30c/kg for in-spec bullocks and heifers.

Next week’s bank holiday will play into factories’ hands, with less demand required for the four-day week.

Factories are still reporting poor demand across Europe, but the UK market continues to perform very strongly.

Cow trade

P+3+ cows are being quoted at €3.70/kg to €3.85/kg this week.

R grading cows are being quoted from €4.10/kg to €4.20/kg, depending on the factory, while O grading cows are working off quotes of €4.00/kg to €4.05/kg.

U grading cows are being quoted at €4.20/kg to €4.30/kg this week.


Base prices for under-16-month bulls are coming in at €4.70/kg to €4.75/kg.

Young under-24-month bull quotes are also under pressure, with U grading bulls now back at €4.85/kg to €4.90/kg.

R grading under-24-month bulls are being quoted at €4.70/kg to €4.75/kg, with O grading bulls back at €4.55/kg to €4.65/kg.

P grading under-24-month bulls are working off €4.40/kg to €4.50/kg this week.

Last week’s kill came in at 33,042 head, up 1,365 head from the previous week’s kill of 31,677 head.

Increases were seen across the board, with a big increase in the number of bullocks killed, up 1,303 head on the previous week.


The Bord Bia Irish composite price dropped by 10c/kg to €4.81/kg compared with the European benchmark price at €4.99/kg.

After two weeks of relative stability, the European price dropped by 8c/kg last week.

The Irish composite price is tracking 17c/kg behind the export benchmark price.

The Irish R3 price continues to track behind the British R3 bullock price by a massive 63c/kg or €240/head.

According to Bord Bia, the most recent British retail data from Kantar Worldpanel, covering the 12-week period up to 11 June, shows a 2.7% reduction in beef purchases in volume terms.

The average retail price of beef had increased by 12.2% to £8.39 (€9.65) per kilo compared with 2022 prices for the same period, resulting in a 9.2% increase in shoppers’ overall spending on beef.

IFA livestock chair Brendan Golden said: “Factories and Bord Bia must do more to position our beef at the higher end of these markets and return prices that reflect our on-farm costs producing beef of the highest standards.

“Factories are acutely aware of the production cost increases associated with cattle finishing, which is set to increase a further 3% in 2023, up from the 28% increase in 2022 based on Teagasc analysis.

“Farmers should reject the lower quotes offered by some factories. Deals 10c/kg above quoted prices are available.”

NI comment

Factory quotes have slipped to 448p/kg (€5.49/kg inc VAT) for U-3 grading cattle, although deals offered to farmers remain well above this level.

Prime steers and heifers are making 464p to 468p/kg (€5.67 to €5.74/kg), with bulls a much harder sell on 458p/kg (€5.61/kg). Cows have eased to a base of 350p/kg (€4.29/kg) for R3 animals, with most deals running 10p/kg (12c/kg) above this level.