This week’s factory quotes sees the lower prices quoted for beef last week remaining at the same level, with some of the higher-end quotes from last week dropping.

Prices peaked in late-March and held for four weeks at €5.30/kg on the grid for heifers and 5c/kg less for bullocks (steers), generally speaking.

Processors began to reduce quotes for cattle in the final week of April, with quotes currently back 15c/kg from peak for prime cattle and back further for cows.

Factory quotes: Heifers and steers

This week, heifer price is generally being quoted at €5.15/kg on the grid, with steers being quoted at €5.10/kg on the grid. Some finishers are managing to secure 5-10c/kg extra in some cases.

Breed bonuses on in-spec Angus and Hereford heifers and steers remain available.

Some farmers are noticing delays in getting cattle booked in for processing.

The final two weeks of May and first week of June is traditionally always a time when most farmers are busy with silage making, and procurement staff generally try to fill their kill sheets for these few weeks in advance with cattle pre-booked earlier in the year.

Most factory outlets are only operating three or four-day kills every week and this appears to be mainly due to the supply of finished cattle rather than a reduced demand for beef.

Some outlets across the country are allocating one day/week for kills of China-eligible cattle, albeit, the amount of beef exported to China to date this year has been low.

Cow quotes

Cow quotes have taken a hit over the past few weeks with as much as 30c/kg wiped off in some cases.

While quotes are back, the stronger cow-buying outlets remain anxious for well-finished cows and are willing to negotiate 10-15c/kg on price where batches of well-finished cows are on offer.

Cows grading R and U are scarce and are attracting a premium at some outlets. Cows grading O and P are more plentiful with the well-fleshed ones being paid at a higher rate than those that are plainer.

As usual, there remains a significant variation in cow quotes. U-grade cows are being quoted at prices ranging from €4.60-4.80/kg, with more to be secured in some cases.

R-grade cows are being quoted at prices ranging from €4.50-4.70/kg. O-grade cows are being quoted at prices ranging from €4.30-4.60/kg, with premium prices available for cows with a carcass weight over 300kg.

P-grade cows are being quoted at prices ranging from €4.20-4.50/kg.

The mart trade remains strong for all types of cows and is remaining a popular destination for many farmers with finished cows to sell.


Under-24-month bulls are being quoted at prices ranging from €5.25-5.35/kg for U-grade bulls with €5.15-5.25/kg being quoted for R-grade bulls.

O-grade bulls are being quoted at prices ranging from €4.95-5.05/kg and P-grade bulls are being quoted at prices ranging from €4.85-4.95/kg.

Under-16-month bulls are being quoted at €5.10-5.15/kg on the grid.