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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
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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The only way is up for cull cow, heifer and bullock prices

April 2022 Beef Prices: Report from factories in Northern Ireland

Young bull, heifer, cull cow and steer prices improved across beef plants in Northern Ireland this week (April 2022).

That is according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), who, in its weekly market outlook report, outlined that base quotes for U-3 grade prime cattle “strengthened mid-week” to 392-410p/kg.

Meanwhile, prices for quality O+3 cows “remained steady” at 280-326p/kg.

According to the LMC:

  • The average cow price in NI last week was up 5.9p/kg to 313.1p/kg, while the O3 cow price was up by 5p/kg to 338.2p/kg;
  • Meanwhile, the average heifer price in NI last week increased by 0.8p/kg from the previous week to 412p/kg, while the R3 heifer price strengthened 3.2p/kg to 421.4p/kg;
  • The average steer price rose by 2.9p/kg to 410.8p/kg, while the R3 steer price increased by 2p/kg to 420p/kg;
  • The average young bull price reported an increase to the tune of 0.8p/kg to 392.6/kg, while the U3 young bull price increased by 0.8p/kg to 408.1p/kg.


According to the LMC, prime cattle throughput in NI last week amounted to 7,912 head, which is an increase of 196 head from the previous week and an increase of 2,024 head from the same week last year.

On the other hand, cow throughput last week totalled 2,232 head, an increase of 43 head from the previous week.

Imports of cattle from ROI for direct slaughter last week consisted of 259 prime cattle and 89 cows compared to 223 prime cattle and 74 cows the previous week.

Furthermore, there were no cattle imported from GB for direct slaughter last week.

Meanwhile, exports from NI for direct slaughter in ROI last week amounted to 55 head, and these were predominantly cows.

Two prime cattle and 33 cows were exported from NI for slaughter in GB plants last week.

GB beef prices

In GB, last week, a similar situation prevailed where prime cattle recorded an increase across the grid.

  • The average steer price rose by 6.8p/kg to 427.7p/kg, while the R3 steer price increased by 6.9p/kg to 433.6p/kg. “This puts the differential in R3 steer prices between NI and GB at 13.6p/kg or £47.60 on a 350kg carcase. According to the LMC, in the same week last year, the difference was 17.2p/kg or £60.20 on a 350kg carcase;
  • Meanwhile, the average heifer price saw an increase of 6.1p/kg last week to 426.1p/kg, while the R3 heifer price was up 4.9p/kg to 433p/kg. According to the LMC, the differential in R3 heifer prices last week between NI and GB was 11.6p/kg or £37.12 on a 320kg carcase. In the same week in 2021, the differential was 14.6p/kg or £46.72 on a 320kg carcase;
  • The cow trade in GB last week was up 5.9p/kg, on average, putting the average cow price at 339.9p/kg. Furthermore, the O3 cow price increased by 7.4p/kg to 363.7p/kg.
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