Despite many signals indicating that a rise in factory quotes was imminent, processors have held their quotes for beef cattle this week at the same levels as last week.

While no rise has been quoted by beef processors for this week, cattle price is still in a good position with demand remaining strong and overall market sentiment looking good.

As was the case in all sectors of the economy, many factories were down in staff numbers as a result of the Covid-19 Omicron variant that swept the country over the Christmas and New Year period.

Many processors have reported that this week, staffing numbers are returning to a more regular level and beef processing facilities are only getting back to normal staffing and throughput levels this week.

Beef factory quotes

Starting with heifer prices, €4.30-4.35/kg on the grid is where heifer price is at again this week.

As was the case last week, steers are, generally, being quoted at 5c/kg less than heifers, however some processors have widened the gap to 10c/kg but are willing to pay a bit more for steers where bigger numbers or regular suppliers are concerned.

In most beef-processing plants,€4.25-4.30/kg on the grid is the general run in the bullock category.

A 10c/kg carcass bonus remains available for cows, heifers and steers with a carcass weight of between 300-400kg and for bulls with a carcass weight of between 320kg and 400kg at Foyle Meats, Co. Donegal.

Angus and Hereford breed bonuses remain in place on in-spec heifers and steers, with up to 25c/kg available for Angus and 10-15c/kg available for Herefords.

Conversations with certain beef-industry stakeholders would indicate an increased Hereford bonus could be in the pipeline for farmers.

Cow price

Looking at cow price, and the cow trade is continuing strong with fleshed, U-grade cows being quoted at €4.00/kg.

€3.90/kg, €3.70/kg and €3.60/kg is on offer for R, O and P-grade cows respectively this week, with continued scope for 10-15c/kg more in each grade for better-type beef cows.

Conversations with regular factory suppliers would indicate better type R-grade cows have been managing to secure €4.00/kg and will continue to do so this week.

Under-24 month bulls are being quoted at a flat price of €4.20-4.25/kg for R grades, with €4.30-4.35 on offer for U-grade bulls.

Plainer bulls are being quoted at €4.00/kg and €4.10/kg for under-24 month P- and O-grade bulls, respectively.

Finally, under-16 month bulls are being quoted at €4.20-4.25/kg on the grid.