This week’s factory quotes see most processors implement further cuts to beef price across all categories of cattle.

The base price of €4.55/kg that is on offer for bullocks this week is 70c/kg below the prices quoted in late May this year, when steer base-price peaked at €5.25/kg.

The number of cattle slaughtered on a weekly basis has been over 35,000 for the past seven consecutive weeks as the seasonal surge of finished cattle continues.

Large numbers of finished cattle are available and getting cattle booked in for processing is proving to be tricky, with waiting lists stretching up to two weeks and longer in some cases.

The latest data on Bord Bia’s beef market tracker shows the Irish prime male cattle price is 27c/kg behind the UK price and 29c/kg behind the EU average prime male cattle price.

Most processers have cut prices by 5c/kg this week while a few factories in the northern half of the country have held prices at last week’s levels and are 20c/kg above the prices in the rest of the country when weight bonuses are included.

Bullocks are being quoted at €4.55/kg on the grid this week at most sites, with a base price of €4.65/kg available at one Donegal-based processor.

Heifer price is at €4.60/kg on the grid this week at most outlets, with €4.70/kg available at the same Donegal-based processor.

Breed and weight bonuses are still in place at some outlets and farmers should enquire what bonuses their cattle will qualify for.

A number of cattle procurement staff at various processors have told Agriland that short-fleshed prime cattle are still being presented by farmers at factories.

Prime cattle should be well-finished with a fat cover of between 2+ and 4= before going to the factory, and farmers who are unsure if their cattle are fit should ask a factory agent to view the cattle in advance.

The mart is the best place to sell store cattle as short-fleshed cattle which arrive to the factory will be penaslised on price.

Cows are back this week as well, with €4-4.10/kg being quoted for P-grade cows and 10c/kg more available for O-grade cows.

€4.30-4.40/kg is available for R-grade cows with €4.50 on offer for better-type U-grade cows.

An additional 10c/kg can be secured at some sites where heavy, well-finished cows are presented.

For under-24-month bulls, flat prices ranging from €4.55-4.65/kg are on offer for R-grade bulls respectively this week, with €4.65-4.75/kg on offer for U-grade bulls.

€4.50 and €4.40/kg is being quoted for O and P-grade bulls respectively this week.

Finally, under-16-month bulls are being quoted at €4.55/kg on the grid.