An air of positivity has crept back into the beef trade, with all factory procurement managers back on the phones again, lining up finished cattle for this week and indeed the next few weeks.

Factories tried their best to get prices pulled back as much as possible over the last few weeks.

While they managed to get prices back 5c to 10c/kg, more price cuts were threatened, but so far this hasn’t materialised, with prices steady in most plants and even improved in some locations.

Bullocks have started off this week at €4.15/kg in most locations, with €4.20/kg still being paid to the bigger players working with larger numbers.

Bullocks are also being bought at €4.20/kg where heifers are involved in the mix.

Heifer prices

Heifers were a similar story last week, with €4.20/kg going in most plants.

More regular suppliers, again with bigger numbers, have been able to squeeze €4.25/kg out of the market.

Marts are reported to be very small over the last week, with fewer numbers of finished animals being shown.

This has put some more pep in the step of factory agents, both ringside and in farmyards, over the last few days souring cattle.

Farmers are reminded that the starting quote and the finished buying price are generally two different figures and farmers should be using weather, supplies and demand to their advantage and selling hard when they can over the next two weeks.

Bull trade

Bulls are working off €4.10/kg to €4.15/kg for R grading bulls, with 5c to 10c/kg extra going for U grading bulls.

Younger under-16-month bulls are working off €4.10/kg to €4.15/kg on the grid.

Cow trade

The cow trade remains steady, with R grading cows still hitting €3.85/kg to €3.90/kg and U grading cows making 5c to 10c/kg more.

O grading cows are also still strong, with €3.70/kg to €3.80/kg being paid for fleshed cows. P grading cows are generally being bought at €3.55/kg to €3.65/kg.