The strong factory kills continue: 37,292 for the week ending June 28. Add to that around another 1,100 that went North that week for immediate slaughter, out of the 1,701 that moved north (Department of Agriculture figures), and you do wonder how much longer the numbers can keep coming.
Will supplies tighten? You would have to say they have to.
On the prices front, bullocks appear to have moved up 5-10c/kg to €3.60-3.65/kg, with heifers on €3.65-3.70/kg. As always when there is a want, those with bigger numbers of in-spec quality stock can generally leverage another 5c/kg or possibly more.
For those with Friesian bullocks, the news appears equally positive, with reports that some plants last week paid flat prices of €3.50/kg, while others guaranteed a minimum price for Ps.
When factories move off the grid to buy numbers, you know the game has changed.
The game has also changed for those with bulls, with prices improved by around 5-10c/kg. This translates into U grades on €3.70/kg with Rs poking up to €3.60kg, and O-grades operating from €3.40-3.50/kg.
For cull cows, most O-grades are on €2.90-3.00/kg, with some bigger feeders squeezing an extra 5c/kg. R-grades range from €3.10-3.20/kg, while your good P-grade is around €2.80-2.90/kg; again bigger numbers and a good mix of better grades helps.
Looking closer, those Friesian bullocks reported as bought at a flat €3.50/kg are in some respects not that far ahead of O-grade cows at €3.00/kg when you allow that the bullocks kill out better.
The next two months are going to be interesting. I suspect factories will tune up their agents to slow down any expectation of further price rises as they assess the overall market situation.
However, with demand continuing strong and with that Northern trade bleeding supplies still further, plus little talk of weight limits and the like, I expect those with stock coming fit will hold tough.
If you do decide to hold tough then the time of the year, and the recent surge in grass growth, are certainly in your favour. But as we all know there is no such thing as a guarantee.
ICMSA president Pat McCormack is not impressed with figures from Tesco which show their sales of steaks "rocketed" by 40pc during lockdown. Aware that the market was over-supplied because of the closure of the food services and hospitality sectors, Mr McCormack is having none of Tesco's claims that they "offered to help suppliers" by putting those surplus steaks on "discounted sale".
"What actually happened is that Tesco purchased the cuts that were going to the food-service at prices that (allowed them) to sell the steaks at a low price and still make a margin," he said.
"If retailers are serious about supporting the primary producer then a bigger proportion of the increased margin made during Covid-19 should be passed back," he said.