Beef quotes continue to edge upwards on the back of reduced supplies and a solid demand in the trade.

Bullocks have crept up to €5.10/kg with heifers now moving at €5.15/kg.

Regular suppliers and those dealing with numbers are working off higher quotes this week - factories are anxious to do business with anyone with good numbers of finished cattle coming on stream over the next few weeks. Bullocks were bought at a €5.15/kg base price this week and deals have also been completed for heifers at a €5.20/kg base price.

Factory agents continue to talk down the trade but aren’t willing to leave any cattle behind them at the same time.

Finished cattle continue to make some exceptional prices in marts - factory agents are eager to hoover up any supplies in mart rings over the last week. Cull cows continue to be the highlight of the trade with over €3/kg being paid for heavy, well-fleshed cows in marts over the weekend.

Weight, age and flesh

In factories, U grading cows are still up at €5.10/kg, with R grading cows coming in at €4.60/kg to €4.80/kg.

O+ suckler cows are generally working off €4.50/kg to €4.60/kg, while O grading dairy cows are being bought at €4.50/kg in the main.

P+3 cows are working off €4.00/kg to €4.20/kg depending on weight, age and flesh.

Young bulls are working off a €5.40/kg base price for U grading bulls.

R grading bulls are coming in at €5.25/kg to €5.30/kg, while O grading bulls are being bought at €5.10/kg to €5.15/kg.

P grading bulls are working off €4.95/kg to €5.05/kg depending on weight and flesh cover.

Under-16 month bulls are generally working off a €5.05-€5.10/kg base price with factories a little more anxious for supplies for the rest of this week.

The advice to anyone with finished animals to sell is to bargain hard on price and price around and don’t sell easy as the ball returns to the farmer’s foot ahead of a few months of reduced numbers of finished cattle coming on stream.