This week’s factory quotes have seen movement in prices from processors at the lower-end of the scale, while the top quotes seem to have remained at the same level as last week.

This month has seen huge movement on cattle price from the stronger buyers, while processors that are slower to increase price have dragged their heels on price rises. There is a significant variation in cattle prices from processors across the country this week.

Week-on-week cattle supplies are running well ahead of last year’s levels with just short of 680,000 cattle processed (excluding veal) as of May 22. This figure is just over 73,000 cattle ahead of last year’s throughput in the same time period.

Despite this, the number of cattle processed in the week ending Sunday, May 22, fell by over 2,500 cattle on the week previous and the demand for beef continues to outweigh the supply.

Heifer quotes are coming in at €5.35-€5.40/kg on the grid and bullocks are trading at €5.25-€5.35/kg.

Prime cattle seem to be in higher demand in the northern half of the country with some processors in the southern half of the country up to 15c/kg behind on heifer and steer price.

Factory agents will be well aware of this and will know the lower quotes will cut no ice as regards securing any significant numbers of prime cattle, so more will likely have to be paid.

Cows remain in strong demand and processors countrywide seem anxious for all types of cows this week.

U-grade cows are being quoted as high as €5.20/kg this week with €5.10/kg on offer for R-grade cows.

O-grade cows are being quoted at €4.90/kg while P-grade cows are being quoted at €4.80/kg.

Under-24-month bulls are coming in at €5.35/kg and €5.45/kg for R and U-grade bulls respectively, with €5.25/kg and €5.15/kg being paid for O and P-grade bulls respectively this week.

Under-16-month bulls are being quoted at €5.25-€5.30/kg on the grid this week.