Despite a concerted effort from a number of factory groups to pull quotes back at the end of last week, quotes stayed relatively stable on Monday morning, with many factories unchanged from last week’s prices.

Bullocks are working off quotes of between €4.75/kg and €4.80/kg, with heifers being quoted at €4.80/kg to €4.85/kg base price, with the latter quote being easier to hammer out for those with numbers.

Factory agents are reporting numbers of finished cattle coming on stream to be relatively tight.

This has switched a number of factories back to marts to source finished cattle, with a number of agents very active, especially in the west of the country, over the last seven days.

Agents are also reporting very little appetite for winter finishing, with some regular winter finishers switching to weanlings in the last month as a different option.

Feed prices

Feed prices and the lack of any foresight on a beef price for spring 2023 have been cited as many as reasons for not going down the winter finishing road this year.

Bulls are being quoted at €4.80/kg to €4.90/kg for R and U grading bulls, with a few regular, bigger suppliers still squeezing €5/kg for U grading bulls.

Friesian bulls are being quoted at €4.50/kg to €4.60/kg, depending on weight and flesh cover. Under-16-month bulls are generally working off a base of €4.80/kg.

Cows continue to be the highlight of the trade, with U grading cows coming in at €4.70/kg to €4.80/kg.

R grading cows are being quoted at €4.60/kg to €4.70/kg. However, those with numbers have been able to strike deals 5c to 10c/kg higher than the official quoted prices.

Mart rings

Wholesalers remain very active around mart rings, driving the trade for heavy, well-fleshed continental cows, with in excess if €2.80/kg being paid for some cows this week in marts.

Irish Farmers' Association livestock chair Brendan Golden said: “Market conditions for beef remain strong. There is capacity in the market for higher beef prices, with a gap of 30c/kg now opened up between the prime Irish composite and prime export benchmark price, which factories must immediately move to close."