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HomeBeefBeef trade: Prices fall in plants across Northern Ireland
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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Beef trade: Prices fall in plants across Northern Ireland

As witnessed in the Republic of Ireland, processors in Northern Ireland also moved to reduce beef prices this week.

Major processing plants across the north pulled quotes for in-spec U-3 steers and heifers back to 364-374p/kg, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

The commission noted that Monday are expected to range from 362-370p/kg. “Most of the plants are quoting at the upper end of this range and producers are encouraged to shop around to get the best deal.”

Quotes for O+3 grading cows firmed at the upper end this week to range from 260-280p/kg with similar quotes expected fearly next week.


Prime cattle throughput in local plants last week totalled 6,965 head, up 131 head from the previous week. 220 fewer head were slaughtered compared to the 7,185 head processed locally during the corresponding week in 2020.

Furthermore, cow throughput in NI last week totalled 1,654 head, 309 head fewer than the previous week. Meanwhile, the kill was 483 below the 2,137 cows reported in the same week in 2020.

Imports and exports

Meanwhile, imports of cattle for direct slaughter from ROI last week consisted of 111 prime cattle and 62 cows with no cattle imported last week from GB for direct slaughter in local plants.

Exports of cattle from NI to ROI for direct slaughter last week included six prime cattle and 60 cows, while no cattle were exported to GB for direct slaughter.

Beef Northern Ireland 

Last week in NI, the average steer price and R3 steer price both reported a marginal decrease from the previous week to 375.8p/kg and 385.9p/kg, respectively.

During the same week in 2020, the R3 steer price was 341.4p/kg. The average heifer price in NI last week “held steady” at 377.9p/kg when compared to the previous week, according to the commission. It noted that the R3 heifer price fell by almost 3p/kg to 384.9p/kg.

In the corresponding week in 2020, the R3 heifer price was 342.4p/kg. Also, the average price for young bulls in NI last week decreased by a penny to 362.4p/kg. The R3 young bull price also fell by close to penny to 373.5p/kg.

The average cow price in NI last week reported a decrease of 0.6pkg to 258.8p/kg. To note, the O3 cow price declined by almost a penny from the previous week to 280.7p/kg.


According to the LMC, the average GB steer price held steady last week at 378p/kg when compared to the previous week.

Meanwhile, the R3 steer price was back by 0.6p/kg to 383p/kg. R3 steer prices recorded decreases in all of the regions last week except in Southern England where an increase of half-a-penny was recorded to 379.4p/kg.

Furthermore, last week, the average heifer price in GB decreased by a penny to 376.7p/kg, while the R3 heifer price held steady at 383p/kg.

The R3 heifer price recorded decreases in all of the regions except in Southern England where an increase of 2.7p/kg was reported from the previous week.

In GB last week, the average cow price was back by 0.4p/kg to 250.4p/kg with the O3 cow price up by almost a penny to 271.5p/kg.


Earlier this week, Brendan Golden, IFA national livestock chairman, stressed that current beef prices in the Republic of Ireland are up to 80c/kg below the cost of production.

“In ROI last week, deadweight cattle prices came under pressure and this, combined with a weakening in the euro against sterling, has resulted in declines across all grades.” the LMC added.

“The ROI R3 steer price decreased by 2.8p/kg to the equivalent of 338.3p/kg, this is 47.6p/kg below the NI R3 steer price. The R3 heifer price was back by 4p/kg to the equivalent of 342.7p/kg this is 42.2p/kg below the NI R3 heifer price last week.”

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