It is interesting to note that last week's estimated kill exceeded the 30,000 mark for the first time this year. While the remarkable fall in the kill figure from 2012 had been well forecast by analysts, I don't think many of us thought it would be mid-September before the figures would move north of 30,000.
Despite the rise, the weekly kill is still some 4,450hd behind the corresponding week last year. Supplies to date this year are running around 14pc or 154,500hd behind last year's levels.
There is little change in the cattle trade this week, with steer quotes remaining at 385-390c/kg, although some hard sellers have secured an R price of up to 395c/kg.
Base quotes for heifers range from 395c/kg to 405c/kg, with tougher sellers again holding out for prices of up to 410c/kg.
While prices as high as 415c/kg on the grid were secured last week, they were more difficult to come by in the early part of this week. The weather is definitely not helping matters.
U grade bulls are making 390-405c/kg, depending on the type of seller and where you sell. A few mixtures of R and U grades have made 400-405c/kg.
Quotes for R grades vary from 385c/kg to 395c/kg, while O grades are at 370-380c/kg.
However, I know of some farmers who sold heifers last week at 395c/kg, but similar heifers elsewhere made up to 20c/kg more. This equates to a loss of up to €70/hd on animals over 350kg.
Good heavy cull cows have improved by 10-20c/kg in some of the plants, with heavy R grades and U grades freely making 360c/kg and upwards. Some farmers have bargained for up to 380c/kg for their U grades.
The R grades are making 340-360c/kg. Prices for O grades range from 320c/kg to 340c/kg, while P+ cows are at 310-330c/kg.
In Britain, the trade was similar to previous weeks, with tight supplies continuing to match current demand levels. Reported cattle prices from the AHDB eased, with GB R4L grade steers averaging Stg350.9p/kg deadweight (equivalent to 465c/kg including VAT deadweight).
On the continent, trade across some of the key markets was largely firm with prices reflecting this pattern. In France, Irish steer hinds made up to €5.78kg including VAT. R3 young bulls in Germany increased by 1c/kg to €4.15/kg, while O3 cow prices fell by 4c/kg to €3.50/kg.
In another development this week, export refunds for all beef and veal products to third country destinations are now suspended.