The beef trade had another positive week’s trading, with quotes creeping up another 5 cent/kg in some processors.

Bullocks are working off base price quotes of €5.10-€5.15/kg, with more bullocks being bought at €5.15/kg this week.

Heifers are moving at a base price of €5.15-€5.20/kg, with again more heifers being bought at €5.20/kg this week. Finished cattle are in short supply with last week’s kill dropping again.

A tough grass year in the south of the country has meant that very little grass cattle are coming on stream, and with shed cattle all but gone, factories are scrambling for supplies.

The Irish Angus Cattle Society have launched a new bonus scheme with Mayo based Dunleavy Meats. In spec bullocks and heifers must be a 2+ on fat grade and grade an O grade or an R grade.

P grades wont get a breed bonus. Pedigree Angus cows will also attract a bonus payment of 10 cent/kg.

Farmers are advised to sell hard as grass cattle are still a few weeks off being ready for finish, and the current lull in supply places the ball firmly at the farmers’ feet this week.


Cows are still in big demand, with U grading cows still up at €5.10/kg, and 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.

Factory agents and wholesalers continue to pay big money for well-fleshed heavy cows in marts, with over €3/kg being paid in marts over the weekend for well-fleshed continental cows.

The mart is still the best place to go with small numbers of cows.


Under-24-month 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 €5.10/kg to €5.15/kg base price, with factories a little more anxious for supplies for the rest of this week.

Last week’s kill came in at 28,494, a drop of over 2,000 head on the pervious week’s kill of 30,692 head.

The heifer kill of 8,500 is the lowest kill of heifers so far in 2024, with bullocks also seeing their lowest kill so far in 2024 at 9,590 head. Numbers are expected to tighten further in the weeks ahead.

In the UK the beef trade is steady, with R4L bullocks coming in at 481p/kg (€6.05/kg incl VAT) last week.

The exchange rate has moved in favour of Irish exporters in the last two weeks, which makes Irish product more attractive for UK-based importers.

Further afield, Brazil is driving on with its beef exports, with a record amount of beef exported in May 2024 (211,976 tonnes).

EU imports of Brazilian chilled beef also hit the highest volume from January to May 2024 since the same period in 2019 with Spain, France and Portugal all seeing large increases in Brazilian beef imports in 2024.

Australia has also seen a 25% increase in beef exports for May 2024, with the majority of the growth coming from beef exports to the USA.

NI comment

Base quotes remain on 464p/kg (€5.75/kg inc VAT) for U-3 animals and while there is talk of lower prices, regular finishers are moving cattle on deals of 482p to 486p/kg (€5.97 to €5.95/kg) for steers and heifers.

Young bulls are making 470p to 478p/kg (€5.82 to €5.92/kg) with cows steady on 370p to 390p/kg (€4.59 to €4.84/kg).