While the Irish factories continue to disappoint farmers with the price of prime steer and heifer beef compared with Britain and the main EU markets, the opposite has been the case with cow prices.

Ireland is constantly battling it out with France to top the EU cow price league. With Britain the gap disappeared with the fall in sterling value after the Brexit referendum result but recovered again during the autumn, with Irish O3 cow prices 11c/kg ahead of Britain at the end of last week.