It’s been another week of no change to beef quotes as factories maintain their grip on the trade.

While factory agents continue to talk about reduced numbers on the ground, the reality is that factories continue to use their own feedlots and factory aligned feedlots to maintain supply.

The latest figures from the Department of Agriculture and Food show that the numbers of animals being slaughtered out of controlled finishing units continues to rise.

There was 79,000 animals slaughtered out of controlled finishing units so far in 2024, a rise of 6,500 head when compared to the same period in 2023. There were almost 10,000 head of cattle a week slaughtered from these controlled finishing units in February 2024. This means that feedlot cattle accounted for almost 27% of the weekly kill in February 2024.

Bullocks continue to work off €5.10-€5.20/kg base quotes this week while heifers are working off a base of €5.20-€5.30/kg similar to last week’s quotes.


The young bull trade has seen a slight improvement this week, with €5.40/kg back on the table for U grading young bulls in some of the factories specialising in bulls. Base price of €5.40/kg is also available for loads of R and U grading bulls this week. R grading bulls are being quoted at €5.20/kg to €5.30/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

Cull cows also remain a very solid trade, with good demand from the manufacturing trade ahead of the Easter holiday period underpinning cow quotes in the last week. 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 have strengthened a little and are working off €4.50/kg to €4.60/kg, with O grading suckler cows coming in at €4.40/kg, while P grading cows are working off €4.10/kg to €4.20/kg, depending on weight and flesh cover.

Last week’s kill came in at 30,883 head a slight reduction of just over 1,000 head which wasn’t a lot considering Good Friday is factored into the week.