Factories are holding firm when it comes to price – with similar quotes on the table for prime cattle to what was offered last week.

With Christmas orders said to be close to being filled this week, processors seem to be saving supplies in the lead up to January 1, as Brexit draws near.

Steers are remaining at a €3.70/kg base price, with €3.75/kg being offered for heifers.

Again, quotes of up to €3.80/kg in some plants have been achieved for prime heifers, but it has depended on the quality and quantity of the load.

Commenting on the trade for steers and heifers this week, the Irish Farmers’ Association’s (IFA’s) National Livestock Committee chairman, Brendan Golden, stated:

The advice for farmers this week is to still fight hard for price – but if you have factory-fit cattle to move, now is the time to be shifting them.

“There is not much time left before Christmas to be holding out for a rise in price and, depending on the way a potential Brexit deal is negotiated, a price rise straight after Christmas is hard to envision.”

Cows have received a lift in price of 10c/kg again this week with some processors. Quotes being given for U-grades are up to €3.40/kg. Meanwhile, R-grades are being quoted at €3.20/kg up to €3.30/kg this week.

O-grading cows are being offered up to €3.10/kg and back to €3.00/kg. P-grades are trading from €2.90/kg to €3.00/kg.

In the bull trade, under 16-month-old bulls are reported to be in short supply in some factories this week, with prices of €3.65/kg on the grid being quoted.

Prices on the table for U-grading bulls, under 24-month-old, are being quoted at €3.75/kg to €3.80/kg. R-grades are hovering around €3.70/kg, with lesser quality O-grading bulls priced from €3.45/kg up to €3.60/kg.

Beef Kill

For the week ending November 29, the beef kill amounted to 36,424 head. Comparing this to the same week last year, the beef kill is behind by 9% or 3,700 head.

Looking at the figures in more detail, steer and heifer supplies stood at 12,195 head and 11,534 head respectively, which accounted for 65% of the total weekly kill.

Cow numbers tallied to 8,573 head, which is running 483 head behind the figure of 8,090 head for the same week last year.

The addition of these slaughters has brought the cumulative kill for the year up to 1,625,106 which again is racing ahead of last year’s kill by 24,282 head.