While the weather remains in permanent negative mode, this week’s beef trade continues with more of the positive sentiment it regained a few weeks ago. At one time a four-day week meant something to the trade where factories were killing flat out five days/week. Nowadays, most factories are working at less than full capacity with some just killing on a three- to four-day week. This means they can juggle things around on a bank holiday week leaving minimum disruption to the production process.

This week’s quotes remain similar to last week’s quotes with €5.05-€5.10/kg on the table for bullocks and €5.10-€5.20/kg being paid out on heifers. Foyle Meats, Donegal are paying €5.25/kg base price for bullocks killing out between 300-400kg while they are on €5.30/kg base price for heifers killing between 300-400kg.

'Bargain hard'

Finished cattle supplies remain very tight on the ground and farmers are advised to price around and bargain hard when selling cattle in the next few weeks.

The young bull trade remains pretty steady, with €5.30/kg back 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 €5.20/kg, while O and P grading bulls are being paid out at 10c to 15c/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 cows are working off €4.00/kg to €4.10/kg, depending on weight and flesh cover.