Prices are powering on in some plants this week, as quotes for heifers are now firming up at €3.80/kg and up to €3.85/kg in cases with some tough negotiation on the cards.

Steers are still having to take €3.75/kg in places, although reports of €3.80/kg deals being secured have been noted.

Looking at the cow trade this week, the P-grading cows are now receiving stronger quotes of €3.00/kg – as fewer processors are offering under this price.

O-grades are valued by procurement managers at €3.10-3.15/kg, while R-grades are priced from €2.25/kg up to €3.35/kg – with some plants offering more for well fleshed R-grades.

Turning to the bulls, under-24-month-olds are valued at €3.50-3.65/kg for O-grades and from €3.75/kg up to €3.80/kg for R-grades. Quotes of €3.85-3.90/kg are on the table for U-grades.

The under-16-month-old bulls are, again, being priced around the €3.75/kg mark this week.

‘Factories anxious for stock’

Speaking to AgriLand about prices offered this week, the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) beef chair Edmund Graham stated:

We are thankfully seeing prices beginning to get stronger and seem to be heading for a further rise.

“Factories are trying to reduce any further price rises, yet they are anxiously looking for stock at the same time.

“The prices for beef cattle in marts have skyrocketed over recent days, so obviously there is a want for these animals but they [the factories] just don’t want to give the price – however they are going to have to if they want supplies.

“The demand for beef is great at the minute across Europe and the UK and beef isn’t in over plentiful supply.”


Beef kill

The kill for the week ending March 7, reached 30,380 head (excluding veal of 3,652 head).

This is more or less similar to the levels of cattle processed the previous week, however kills continue to fall behind by over 6,000 head (excluding veal) from the same period last year.

Looking at the figures for last week, the number of steers killed tallied to 11,667 head – which was a jump of 701 head in numbers processed in comparison to the previous week. 

Heifer numbers slaughtered amounted to 9,532 head last week. This was a week-on-week rise of 170 heifers processed.

Turning to the young bull kills, these reached 2,654 head last week – resulting in a weekly drop of 215 head. Overall in 2021, young bull kills have tallied to 30,217 head, which is falling behind by 12,195 head in comparison to the cumulative kills in 2020.

Week-on-week beef kill changes:

  • Steers: 11,966 head (+701 head);
  • Heifers: 9,532 head (+170 head);
  • Cows: 6,070 head (-631 head);
  • Young bulls: 2,654 head (-215 head);
  • Bulls: 457 head (-10 head);
  • Total: 30,380 head (-15 head).