Factory quotes for finished cattle have held for another week, with factories still anxious for cattle.

Heifers are being quoted from €4.15/kg to €4.20/kg, with higher prices going to regular suppliers and those with numbers.

Bullocks are generally working off €4.10/kg base, with €4.15/kg going to select customers and regular suppliers.

I was speaking to one finisher who killed R grading Aberdeen Angus heifers last week at €4.60/kg when all bonuses were paid out. Strong retail demand

Retail demand remains strong and always performs well coming into the summer months.

Under-16-month bulls are still on €4.10/kg to €4.15/kg, with good demand reported for suitable well-finished bulls.

Over-20-month R grading bulls are working off €4.05/kg to €4.10/kg, with U grading bulls coming in at €4.15/kg.

Cow trade

Cows are holding well, with €3.80/kg to €3.90/kg still being paid for good U grading suckler cows.

R grading cows are being quoted from €3.75/kg to €3.85/kg, with O grading cows working off €3.65/kg to €3.75/kg.

Cows are still a super trade in the mart and farmers with small numbers of cows to sell could still be better in the mart ring as opposed to the factory lairage.

Kill figures

Last week's kill remained under 30,000, which means numbers are still tight on the ground.

The news that the UK government is planning to open indoor dining in cafes, pubs and restaurants will come as a welcome boost to the Irish trade.

Twenty-nine percent of Irish beef exports to the UK are destined for food service channels, so Irish factories will likely see another lift in demand as the UK food service trade gets back to normal.

Indoor gatherings will also be allowed after 17 May, which will likely drive barbecue meat sales ahead of the UK bank holiday on 31 May.

The British beef price continues to perform very well, with the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) reporting a further price rise in the week ending 1 May.

R4L steers were being paid out at 418p/kg (€5.13/kg incl VAT). The British beef price is currently running €1/kg ahead of this time last year.