IFA National Livestock Chairman Angus Woods said factories are struggling to buy cattle at the lower quoted prices this week and having to pay at least a base of €4.15 and €4.25 for steers and heifers to get adequate numbers.
He said supplies are not meeting demand and factories are hungry for cattle with farmers in no rush to move stock that are thriving well on grass.
He said the general run of prices this week is a base of €4.15 for steers and €4.25 for heifers. He said some top prices of €4.20 and €4.30/kg were paid earlier in the week.
The factories are using the slight increase in the cow kill to try to put pressure on prices and Angus Woods said farmers need to be aware that there is a difference of 10-15c/kg in cow prices depending on the factory and the numbers on offer.
R grade cows are making €3.60 to €3.70/kg and P and O grade cows are making from €3.35 to €3.55/kg with flat deals for mixed loads.
Angus Woods said both in Ireland and the UK supplies are not meeting demand and the World Cup has given a strong boost to beef consumption in the UK and across the EU.
In our main export market, cattle prices continue to rise with R3 grade steers making £3.77/kg equivalent to €4.52/kg including VAT.