The strength in the cattle trade continues to gather momentum this week as most processors opened quotes this morning, Monday, February 7, at 5c/kg higher than last week’s factory quotes with at least one processor moving up 10c/kg on its quote from last Monday.

While weekly factory throughput levels have increased by over 1,000 head/week over the past three weeks and the total number of cattle processed to date this year is up by 792 head (including veal) when compared to the same time period last year, it seems the lift in this week’s beef quotes is entirely demand driven rather than due to a low supply of cattle.

Mart demand for store cattle would indicate buyers seem fairly confident of the beef trade continuing strong into the summer months and third quarter of the year as young continental male cattle with plenty of scope made as far as €3.00/kg in marts across the country over the weekend and today, Monday.

Starting with factory quotes for heifers and €4.40-€4.45/kg is where heifer price is this week.

Finished heifers seem to be in short supply this spring as the cumulative beef kill up to January 30, shows that the number of young bulls, bulls, steers and cows that have been processed are all up on the same time period last year, but the number of heifers processed to date this year is back by over 2,100 head.

Next up is steers and €4.30 – €4.40/kg on the grid is available for bullocks this week with the supply of factory-fit bullocks a little more plentiful than in the heifer category hence why some processors are a little more reluctant to move on steer quotes.

Cows are continuing a strong trade this week as better-type R and U-grade cows are being quoted at €4.00/kg and €4.10/kg respectively with scope for 10-15c/kg more in each category.

O and P-grade cows are being quoted at €3.80/kg and €3.70/kg respectively, however, regular suppliers of cows are likely securing 10-15c/kg more in these categories also.

U24-month bulls are being quoted at a flat price of €4.30/kg for an R-grade with €4.20 and €4.10/kg on offer for O and P-grade bulls scoring a plus in their grade and a 2+ or above in flesh.

Finally, U-16 month bulls are being quoted at €4.25-€4.30/kg on the grid.