Despite having fallen by 45c/kg at many factory outlets over the past eight weeks, this week’s factory quotes see beef prices having held at similar levels to last week with demand remaining strong for all categories of beef cattle.

The ‘all in’ price for in-spec R-grade heifers and steers remainins above €5/kg at most sites. While the demand for finished cows remains strong, there is significant variation in price with some factories attempting to buy cows at up to 20c/kg less than others.

Steers are being quoted at a base price of €4.80-4.90/kg while heifers quotes are coming in at a base price of €4.85-4.95/kg.

Cow price is ranging from €4.80-5.00 for U-grades, with €4.70-4.90/kg on offer for R-grade cows.

O-grade cows are ranging from €4.50-4.70/kg and P-grade cow price is ranging from €4.40-4.60/kg this week.

Heavy, fleshed cows are securing the stronger factory prices and regular suppliers of cows and farmer purchasing groups with numbers of cows have more bargaining power on cow price.

Looking at U-24 month bulls and €4.90/kg and €4.80/kg is on offer for U and R-grade bulls respectively with €4.60-4.70/kg on offer for O-grade bulls and €4.50-4.60/kg being quoted for P-grade bulls.

Finally, U-16 month bulls are being quoted at €4.80/kg.

On the week commencing Monday, May 30 this year, the base price for in-spec heifers was ranging from €5.35-5.40/kg. Eight weeks later, today, Monday, July 25, that base price is ranging from €4.85-4.95/kg.

This would indicate a drop of 45c/kg in eight weeks – on the higher end of quotes.

Beef kill

Looking at the beef kill figures, we see the number of adult cattle processed this year is running over 81,500 head ahead of last year’s levels at 934,770 cattle processed to date this year (excluding veal).

The number of cows processed this year is almost 33,700 cows ahead of last year’s levels with just under 221,500 cows processed this year.