Base quotes for bullocks and heifers fell by another 10c/kg yesterday to €3.40/kg.
In the last three weeks, a minimum of 30c/kg has been wiped off the value to finishers of in-spec stock, meaning that we are now 5- 10c/kg below the lowest point of last autumn's beef protest.
So a 370kg heifer or steer carcase that averaged €1,369 before quality assurance is now returning €1,258 - a difference of €111.
While factories continue to protect their bottom line by passing back the costs associated with storing what they are unable to sell due to the closure of the hospitality sector across Europe, those on the finishing end are the ones left counting the cost.
There is little sympathy out there at present, with one agent telling me, "if we can't sell it we're not going to buy it" when I pointed out that falling kill numbers (32,773 for the last full week in March) was down to factories deciding to limit their exposure as opposed to an actual tightening in supplies.
Another agent was a little more on the farmers' side, saying: "They could have chosen to drop to €3.45/kg as opposed to doing the dog and going to €3.40/kg."
For the record, the kill for that last week of March 2019 was 32,591, when base prices for bullocks and heifers stood at €3.75-3.85/kg.
Prices for cull cows appear to have stabilised around €2.50-2.60/kg for O-grades, with better continental Os on €2.65/kg. Better P-grades are €2.40-2.50/kg, while your R-grade is at €2.80-2.90/kg.
Quotes for bulls are hard got, with many plants appearing to have no interest. Those that do are quoting 10c/kg less, with Us on €3.50/kg and Rs €3.40/kg.
The Department of Agriculture's Meat Market Report for the week ending March 29 shows that since the end of February, average dead-weight prices for cattle have nose-dived across much of the EU, with Britain, Northern Ireland, France and Germany seeing reductions of 10-35c/kg because of the fallout from the Covid crisis.
Information from Bord Bia show world beef prices actually holding, with the United States market returning the equivalent of €3.78/kg for R3-grade steers at the end of last month.
In Australia, your average R3 steer is up 29c/kg on 12 months ago at €3.34/kg, while O3 cull cows are trading at €2.74/kg, up from €2.36/kg a year ago.
Here, those with cattle feeding are facing a very bleak time.
Prior to this, the option of moving a share of your stock through the marts had been exercised by some as prices ringside outstripped what was available to finishers at the factory gate for much of January, February and the early weeks of March.
With the closure of the marts due to Covid-19 restrictions that option is unavailable.
One man told me he intends to go through his shed cattle and release some of those less finished to grass in the hope of firstly reducing his feeding costs and secondly riding out the downturn longer term.