A massive gap continues to exist between Irish beef prices and that of our main markets, the UK and EU.

The difference between killing a 350kg carcase bullock in the UK versus Ireland is now close to €300/head. A combination of a drop in the weekly kill and increased demand from the UK has forced factories to increase beef quotes this week.

Factory agents have been scrambling for finished cattle, which remain in very short supply.

With good grass growth and a good weather forecast, farmers have been in no rush to market stock over the last two weeks and this is also helping prices.

Speaking at a suckler beef open day in Kildalton college last Friday, Bord Bia’s Joe Burke said: “We are currently about 80c/kg behind the UK beef price and we are also about 20c/kg behind the EU price, so there is probably more in the market for Irish prices to go.”

European young bull prices have increased over the last few weeks, with the latest EU average price for R3 grading young bulls up by 3c/kg to reach €5.11/kg (including VAT).

On average, UK R3 steer prices increased by £0.16p/kg to £4.66/kg, equivalent to €5.74/kg (including VAT), for the week ending 3 September 2023.