Factories have tried to apply further pressure to the beef trade this week with one or two more factory groups coming into line with the big players and applying a 5c cut to quotes on both bullocks and heifers.

For the ordinary finishing farmer, heifers are working off €4.20/kg in most plants today with bullocks coming in at €4.15 to €4.20/kg depending on numbers being moved.

Aberdeen Angus cattle are still commanding up to 20c/kg bonuses with Hereford cattle coming in at a 10c/kg bonus.


The issue at the moment is that factories are using their feedlot clients to prop up supplies. These feedlot buyers are also very active around mart rings buying short-keep cattle to slaughter quickly.

While procurement managers are spinning a story about loads of cattle about and lairages being jammed, it is a different story on the ground with factories quiet for the time of year.

This is suiting some of them who are having huge issues maintaining a constant labour supply and for others Covid-19 has meant boning halls in particular are working at under capacity.


There is another school of thought out there that factories need to get the price back before the price starts to kick on again when supplies get tight again at the back end of the year.

Young bulls have also been dealt a cut with €4.15/kg being paid for R grading bulls and U grading bulls coming in at €4.25/kg. Under-16-month bulls are working of a base of €4.15/kg in most factories.

Cows remain a very solid trade. R grading cows are still coming into €3.85 to €3.90/kg with U grading cows coming in at 5c to 10c/kg higher.

O grading cows are coming in at €3.70 to €3.80/kg for good suckler types. P grading cows are still trading at €3.55 to €3.65/kg depending on flesh cover and type.


Across the water in Britain, the beef price has kicked on again this week. Tight supplies have meant British factories have had to increase prices for R4L steers up to 418p/kg (€5.19 including VAT). That’s up 3c/kg on the week before.

British beef prices are expected to see records being broken this week with the highest price being paid since 2014.

AHDB is reporting that the British all prime average price increased to €5.06/kg. That price is up 38p (€0.45/kg) on the same week of last year and 56p (€0.66/kg) up on the five-year average.