The beef trade has steadied up this week after a week of uncertainty as to what way factories would go.

Some had tried to get bullock quotes below the €4.60/kg mark, but any factory that tried has met strong farmer resistance in doing so.

The weather is also finally playing ball, with a few dry days and a good forecast for the rest of the week meaning there isn’t as much pressure to offload stock as there was last week.

While numbers of cows appearing at mart sales and factory lairages have increased, prime cattle supplies remain steady, with factories still anxious for finished stock.

Most bullocks are being bought at €4.60/kg this week, with €4.65/kg still on offer in some factories and when hard sellers are selling.

Heifers are working off a base price of €4.65/kg in most locations, with some factories still paying €4.70/kg.

The old rule of more available for regular sellers and those with numbers also applies.

Foyle in front

Foyle Meats, Donegal, is still out in front with its quote of €4.75/kg for bullocks killing out between 300kg and 400kg and €4.80/kg for heifers killing out between 300kg and 400kg.

The bull trade remains pretty stable, with €4.90/kg being paid for U grading under-24-month bulls this week.

R grading bulls are being quoted at €4.80/kg to €4.85/kg, with a little more going to regular suppliers and those with numbers.

O and P grading bulls are trading at 5c to 10c/kg less than this, with fat cover being a big determinant on price for some of the poorer-quality bulls.

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

Cow prices

Factory appetite for cows remains strong, with increased numbers of cows in marts and factories having no effect on the trade.

Well-fleshed P+3 cows continue to trade at €3.90/kg to €4.00/kg, depending on weight and quality.

O grading cows are working off €4.10/kg to €4.20/kg, while good R grading cows are coming in at €4.30/kg to €4.40/kg.

U grading cows are being quoted at €4.40/kg to €4.50/kg in some factories this week.

Taking a look at the Bord Bia price tracker, the prime composite export benchmark price is running 34c/kg ahead of the Irish price. Prices across the UK and EU have risen in recent weeks on the back of reduced supplies.