This week’s factory quotes for cattle see the lower prices for prime cattle last week holding, while further cuts are seen in cow quotes across the board this week.

Just over 6,800 cows were processed in the week ending Sunday, October 2. Almost 27% of the cows processed last week scored below a 2+ in flesh and thus were ‘short-fleshed’. 53.4% of the cows processed in that week graded ‘P‘.

In the same week, just under 19,500 bullocks were processed and 12% of these were short fleshed. 25% of the bullocks processed scored an O- or P , thus failing to meet the requirements for a 20c/kg ‘in-spec’ bonus.

In the week ending Sunday, October 2, just under 38,500 cattle were processed at Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)-approved factories.

With high volumes of cattle coming to factory lairages on a weekly basis and a noticeable percentage of these cattle being presented as short-fleshed, procurement managers are showing no mercy on prices where unfit cattle are in the equation.

Prime cattle

Bullocks are being quoted at prices ranging from €4.60-€4.65/kg on the grid this week, with a 10c/kg weight bonus available at some sites for steers with a carcass weight of between 300-400kg.

Heifers are being quoted at prices ranging from €4.65-€4.70/kg on the grid this week with the same weight bonus as above available.

Hereford and Angus breed bonuses are also available and range from 10-30c/kg, depending on the factory and the animals’ carcass weight, grade and fat score.

Farmers should identify what bonuses their cattle will be eligible for and ensure their cattle are sufficiently fleshed before sending livestock to the factory.

Cow factory quotes

With cows this week, the P-grade Friesian cow is taking the biggest hit on price with larger numbers of these appearing at factory lairages direct from the parlour.

A flat price of €4.00-€4.10/kg is being quoted for P-grade cows and where light, short-fleshed cows are in the equation, this price will be lower.

Likewise, where heavier-type cows with plenty of feeding in them and a good fat cover are in the equation, more money will be available.

Farmers should seek assurances on price before sending cows to the factory.

O-grade cows are being generally quoted at €4.20/kg with an odd processor attempting to buy O-grade cows at €4.10/kg this week.

A flat price of €4.40/kg is being quoted for R-grade cows with €4.50/kg being quoted for U-grade cows.

A cow with a carcass weight of above 270kg and a fat score of 2+ or above is the type of cow processors are most keen for and factory agents will pay extra when these type of cows are in the equation.


Looking at under-24-month bulls and good U-grade bulls are being quoted at a flat price of €4.70/kg, with €4.60/kg on the grid being quoted for R-grade bulls this week.

O-grade bulls are being quoted at prices ranging from €4.30-€4.40/kg and 10c/kg less is being quoted for P-grade bulls.

Factory quotes for under-16-month bulls are at €4.60/kg on the grid this week.