Factory quotes for the second week of 2022 are in a good position from a beef farmer’s perspective.

Some procurement staff are opening quotes for the week at the same prices as last week, but likely have leeway to pay 5-10c/kg extra for quality lots of prime cattle and the same or more for cows and bulls.

Meanwhile, other processors are admitting a 5c/kg rise is available for “certain better-type heifers” but appear more reluctant to move on steer price.

Starting with heifers and €4.30-€4.35/kg on the grid is where heifer price is at this week, with procurement officers the length and breadth of the country hungry to secure numbers of finished heifers.

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.

As numbers of finished cattle remain scarce, factory procurement staff are under pressure to fill out kill sheets.

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

Last Friday’s announcement from Certified Irish Angus of a 30c/kg breed bonus for cattle booked in advance for processing between March 14 and May 16, 2022, will come as welcome news for beef finishers with Angus cattle and is a good indicator of the direction of beef demand from processors.

Looking at cow price, and it seems the cow trade is continuing to go from strength to strength with fleshed, U-grade cows being quoted at €4.00/kg.

€3.90, €3.70 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.

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 and €4.10 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.