LIKE the turnout in last Saturday's referendum, the estimated cattle kill was also in the very low thirties with the final figure of 31,124 being some 3,000hd back on the corresponding week last year.
Staying with the referendum theme, the news on the beef trade is also on the positive side albeit not as positive as some would hope.
Processors are very reluctantly raising quotes at a very slow pace.
However, hardened sellers who understand the trade are bargaining tough and securing prices well above the general quotes. Steer quotes remain at 385-390c/kg, but more and more farmers are getting the 390c/kg base. Donegal continue to pay 402c/kg for the R grade bullock.
I know of some farmers who late last week were bargaining with factories and hopeful of securing between 395-400c/kg base.
Base quotes for the heifers are in the region of 400-405c/kg, but I have heard reports of 410-415c/kg and even higher being secured.
Some plants are very anxious for good, young in-spec heifers so it's up to the farmer to seek those plants out.
Be careful that heifers do not go over fat.
Up in the northwest, the in-spec Rs are making 408c/kg with the U-grade heifer still on 420c/kg.
The best of the bulls are topping out at 410c/kg. Quotes for those Us are running from 395-402c/kg with prices more often than not making from 400-410c/kg. R-grade quotes are between 385-400c/kg.
A few mixes of R and U-grade bulls have made a flat price of 405c/kg. Quotes for the Os are at 370-380c/kg.
IFA livestock chairman Henry Burns said that prices are continuing to rise with finishers getting up to 400c/kg for steers and from 410-420c/kg for heifers despite the factories trying their best to buy at 405c/kg.
He urged farmers to dig in as factories will be anxious to stock up from now on for the Christmas trade.
There isn't much change on cull cow quotes with the tops making from 350-370c/kg. The R grades are varying between 340-360c/kg. Quotes and prices for the O grades range from €320-346c/kg while the P+ cows are making from 300-334c/kg.
An Bord Bia reported that the cattle trade firmed last week, reflecting ongoing strong seasonal demand for supplies that remain tighter than usual.
The best trade continues to be for in-spec prime cattle supplies.
Prices quoted for R-grade steers under the Quality Payment System were between €3.85-3.95/kg, while quotes for heifers were generally making between €3.95-4.05/kg.
These prices exclude the 6c/kg on in-spec Quality Assured stock. O-grade cull cows were making between €3.20-3.30/kg.
Cattle supplies to date this year are running around 13pc or 177,800hd behind last year's levels.
In Britain, trade was reported as reasonable, with demand for forequarter product remaining steady.
In a bid to boost demand levels, promotional activity has been evident for topsides and silversides.
Reported cattle prices from the AHDB eased with GB R4L grade steers making Stg 356.4p/kg dw (equivalent to 470c/kg incl VAT dw) for the week ended November 3.
On the Continent, trade across most of the key markets was solid, with prices reflecting this pattern.
Best demand reported is for forequarter cuts like featherblades and chucks.
Demand for some fifth quarter cuts also remains strong in some markets.
Demand for hindquarter cuts such as fillets is expected to improve over the coming weeks as consumers stock up in advance of Christmas.
In France, Irish steer hinds are making from €5.50-5.87kg incl VAT.
R3 young bulls in Germany are up 3c/kg to 429/kg incl VAT with O3 cow prices down 1/c to €3.26/kg.
In Italy, R3 young bulls are making €4.26/kg, with O3 cow prices making €3.15/kg.