A four-day week always eases procurement manager concerns. Some factory agents are were a little more anxious for stock last week.

This week’s four-day week has eased that pressure, but, nevertheless, finished cattle are in demand.

Bullocks are moving at €4.80/kg to €4.85/kg, with an occasional €4.90/kg going where pressure is applied or where bigger numbers are involved.

Heifers are generally moving at €4.90/kg, with a few €4.95/kg quotes for loads of good heifers being killed this week.

Foyle Meats, Donegal, is still out in front with its quote of €5/kg for bullocks and €5.05/kg for heifers, provided both kill-out between 300kg and 400kg.

Bonuses for Aberdeen Angus are ranging from 15c to 20c/kg, with the Hereford bonuses coming in at 10c/kg.

Bull prices

Quotes are generally running at €4.80/kg to €4.90/kg base for under-16-month bulls this week.

Those with bigger numbers have been able to squeeze a little more out of the market.

U grading under-24-month bulls are being quoted from €4.95/kg to €5.00/kg, with R grading bulls coming in at €4.85/kg to €4.90/kg.

Cow prices

Buyers specialising in the wholesale market have been very active in marts over the last two weeks, with some exceptional prices being paid for top-quality young cows with good flesh.

Quotes this week are running at €4.80/kg for R grading cows, €4.60/kg for O grading cows and €4.30/kg to €4.45/kg for P grading cows.

Speaking to some people in the meat trade in the UK at the weekend, they said that the England women’s team winning the European Championships was a big boost for beef sales, with some big orders placed in the manufacturing trade last week in anticipation of the result.

Sporting events continue this week with the Commonwealth Games taking place in Birmingham, which will be another boost to demand.

Irish Farmers' Association national livestock chair Brendan Golden said cattle supplies off grass are expected to remain steady.

With cattle throughput operating very strongly in Northern Ireland, there will be an expected increase in demand for exports of forward store and finished cattle as the year progresses.

“There is room for stronger beef price returns in the market place with the Irish prime composite price at €4.82/kg now a full 19c/kg below the prime export benchmark price of €5.01/kg,” said Golden.