The dry cow trade continues to be the highlight of the trade, with some big prices reported in marts across the country over the weekend.

Over €3/kg was paid for good cows at the weekend, which would be far in excess of what suckler cows would be worth to kill in the factory this week.

The tops in the factory for U grading cows this week is €4.70/kg, with a little more going to regular customers and those with numbers.

The manufacturing beef trade is very strong and this is driving the demand for cows.

Mart prices paid by factory agents at the weekend went far in excess of what factory agents are quoting.


A 745kg Limousin cow sold for €2,140 in Tuam on Monday. If this 745kg cow slaughtered the following day at a 53% kill-out, she comes into a 396kg carcase.

That cow is costing €2,190 by the time she is killed with transport, mart fees and factory fees paid. That means the person that bought that cow in Tuam needs to get €5.53/kg to break even on the cow.

If the cow kills out at 52% and a 387kg carcase, the break even moves to €5.66/kg. The agents and buyers that are buying cows in marts this week are buying on order with a guarantee that they get “covered” for whatever they pay.

It’s a similar story in the prime rings over the last seven days as well, with factory agents extremely fit for anything coming near close to slaughter.

An August 2021-born Charolais heifer in Tuam on Monday weighing 675kg sold for €2,100 (€3.11/kg).

If the same heifer was sent to a factory, she would come into a 371kg carcase at a 55% kill-out. If you add on €50 to cover transport, mart fees and factory fees, she needs to come into €5.80/kg to break even.

If this heifer graded a U=3= in a beef factory at a base price €5.15/kg, she comes in at a beef price of €5.53/kg, some 27 cent/kg or €100/head lower than the mart price paid.

This May 2018-born Limousin cow weighed 815kg and sold for €2,230 (€2.74/kg).

This May 2017-born Charolais cow weighed 830kg and sold for €2,170 (€2.61/kg).

This February 2018-born Charolais-cross cow weighed 820kg and sold for €2,160 (€2.63/kg).

This March 2021-born Limousin cow weighed 745kg and sold for €2,140 (€2.87/kg).

This August 2021-born Charolais heifer just under 30 months weighed 675kg and sold for €2,100 (€3.11/kg).