Factory quotes for beef cattle are on the move in an upwardly direction after remaining steady for approximately 15 weeks.

About four weeks ago, some downward pressure had influenced cow quotes but it seems well fleshed, heavy cows scoring a ‘plus’ (a+) in their respective grades, but are not overfat, are securing a slightly stronger flat price.

Plainer-type cows are more in line with current factory quotes.

With just four weeks to go until the commencement of Christmas week, it seems beef is in high demand and is expected to remain so for the remainder of the year, and into next year.

While quotes are rising, procurement staff are reluctant to affirm that this is the case.

Starting with heifers and €4,25/kg on the grid seems to be more freely available this week than it had been last week.

Heifer quotes peaked at €4.30/kg on the grid in July this year; however, some farmers secured more before they cooled back in August.

With a bit of luck and, assuming demand stays strong, €4.30/kg and above could well be back on the table before the year is out.

Looking at steers and €4.20/kg on the grid seems to be ‘the new normal’ for bullocks this week.

Breed bonuses are in place in most factories for the in-spec Angus and Hereford heifer and steer.

Next up, cows, and €3.45 and €3.55/kg is what’s on offer for P- and O-grade cows, respectively, this week.

R- and U-grade cows are being quoted €3.75 and €3.85/kg respectively, however as mentioned above, good cows killing out as a+ in their grade and are well fleshed could secure 5-10c/kg more in their respective grades.

Looking at bulls and under-24-month bulls are being quoted at €3.95, €4.05, €4,15 and €4.25/kg for P-, O-, R- and U-grade bulls, respectively.

As with cows, good bulls will likely secure more money than plainer, leaner-type bulls and it is important farmers are conscious of this before presenting bulls to the factory for slaughter.

Finally, under-16-month bulls are being quoted at €4.15-€4.20/kg on the grid.

Last week’s kill figures will be published tomorrow (Tuesday, November 23) and it will be interesting to see how much – if any – the national kill dropped last week.