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HomeBeefNI beef trade: Tight numbers driving prices upwards
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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NI beef trade: Tight numbers driving prices upwards

April 2021 beef prices Northern Ireland

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), the deadweight cattle trade “remained steady” in Northern Ireland this week.

The commission reported that factories paid between 368-380p/kg for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle.

“The trade for good quality O+3 cows also remained steady with base quotes this week ranging from 265-290p/kg. Similar quotes are expected for all types of cattle early next week.”

Throughput

Prime cattle throughput last week increased by 460 head from the previous week to total 6,326 head. This is also up 458 head when compared to the same week in 2020 when 5,868 prime cattle were processed locally.

Meanwhile, cow throughput in NI last week totalled 1,775 head, up 329 cows from the previous week. This is also up 703 head when compared to the 1,072 cows processed in the same week last year.

Exports and imports

According to the LMC, imports from ROI for direct slaughter in NI plants last week consisted of 425 prime cattle and 116 cows.

This brings total year to date prime cattle imports from ROI to NI for direct slaughter to 3,734 head, up 1,281 head or 52 per cent when compared to the same period last year. Besides, there were no imports from GB to NI for direct slaughter last week.

Exports from NI to ROI for direct slaughter last week consisted of four prime cattle and 77 cows while no cattle made the journey to GB for direct slaughter.

April 2021 beef prices Northern Ireland

“Deadweight cattle prices in NI last week continued to strengthen primarily due to a tightening in the supply of cattle over recent weeks.”

Firstly, the average steer price increased last week by almost 3p/kg from the previous week to 382.1p/kg. Meanwhile, the R3 steer price increased 4.8p/kg to 392.2p/kg. “This is the highest recorded R3 steer price ever in NI, a similar price was reported in June 2013 of 391.1p/kg.”

Meanwhile, the average heifer price in NI last week was up by 4.2p/kg to 382.9p/kg while the R3 heifer price increased by 4.6p/kg to 392.3p/kg. “This is also the highest reported R3 heifer price in NI, with a similar price of 390.6p/kg recorded back in June 2013.”

Also, the average young bull price in NI last week was up 1.3p/kg to 364.8p/kg while the R3 young bull price increased by 2.6p/kg to 378.9p/kg.

Lastly, the average cow price in NI last week recorded an increase of 6.5p/kg to 271.6p/kg with the O3 cow price up 3.8p/kg to 292.8p/kg.

GB

In GB, “strong deadweight prices continue to be reported with cattle availability also influencing the deadweight cattle trade”.

“Last week, the average steer price in GB was up by 3.7p/kg to 403.9p/kg while the R3 steer price increased by 4.2p/kg to 408.4p/kg. This places the differential in the R3 steer price last week between NI and GB at 16.2p/kg or £57 on a 350kg carcase.”

The average heifer price in GB last week was up by 5.6p/kg to 404.6p/kg while the R3 heifer price increased by almost 5p/kg to 409.4p/kg.

According to the LMC, this puts the differential in R3 heifer prices last week between NI and GB at 17.1p/kg or £55 on a 320kg carcase.

ROI

“In ROI last week, deadweight cattle prices also reported notable increases across all of the grades.”

“The R3 steer price in ROI was the equivalent of 346.8p/kg, up by 8.8p/kg from the previous week, which puts the differential between NI and ROI at 45.4p/kg or £159 on a 350kg carcase.”

“The R3 heifer price increase by 7.6p/kg to 349.2p/kg. This puts the differential between NI and ROI at 43.1p/kg or £138 on a 320kg carcase.”

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