Prices paid for cattle can vary by as much as €308/head for the same animal depending on which factory is paying, Irish Farmers Journal analysis has shown.

The rising overall beef price in 2022 has also led to an increase in the gap between the top and bottom paying factories for different types of cattle.

In an assessment of four different grades across steers, heifers, young bulls and cows based on weekly reported prices in 2022, the Irish Farmers Journal found that prices varied by up to €308 per head.

This is based on the average slaughter weights in 2022, as presented by Bord Bia at its meat outlook conference, multiplied by the different prices reported by the factories. The leagues show the type of cattle individual factories want based on the price per kilo reported weekly. Even within the same groups, a wide range of prices are often paid for the exact same type of cattle.


The big winners in this year’s leagues are Jennings Ballinrobe and Dunleavy Meats Mayo, which have four table topping positions each.

Foyle in Donegal comes next with three top positions and one each for C&J Meats, Traditional Meat Company, Dawn Meats Rathdowney and ABP’s Clones and Bandon factories.

Dunleavy Meats in Co Mayo and C&J Meats in Donegal spiced up competition for cattle in 2022, as this was their first full year of price reporting.