Weak demand and oversupply have been blamed for poor Irish beef prices over the past year. According to Bord Bia, finished cattle supplies here have risen by 12.5% or 125,000 head so far this year. All categories of cattle have seen numbers rise, with steers up 19%, heifers up 16% and young bulls up 10%.

Meanwhile, the opposite is happening in the major world beef-producing regions, with tight supplies and strong prices. Rabobank’s latest report on global beef markets says the supply of beef for the rest of 2014 and into next year will remain tight.