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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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Beef trade: NI prices nearly 60c/kg above south

The latest beef price analysis from the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), shows plants quoted 3.62-3.70/kg for U-3 grade prime cattle in Northern Ireland this week (week commencing February 22nd, 2021).

Similar quotes are expected for both steers and heifers early next week.

Quotes for good quality O+3 grading cows, generally, “remained steady” at 264-280p/kg.

“With such a range in quotes for all types of cattle, producers are encouraged to shop around for the best deal and to use these base quotes as a starting point for negotiation.”


Prime cattle throughput in local plants last week totalled 6,547 head a decrease of 292 head from the previous week. The kill was back by 8.3% when compared to the 7,143 prime cattle killed in the same week last year.

Cow throughput, last week, reported similar levels to the previous week at 1,908 head. This is also similar to the 1,896 cows processed in local plants in the same week in 2020.

Exports and imports

Imports of cattle from ROI for direct slaughter in NI consisted of 123 prime cattle and 71 cows last week with no cattle imported from GB for direct slaughter in local plants.

Cattle exports from NI for direct slaughter in ROI and GB remain at low levels.

Last week, two steers and sixteen cows were exported out of NI to ROI for direct slaughter. No cattle made the journey from NI to GB for direct slaughter to date in 2021.

Beef price Northern Ireland – summary

The deadweight prime cattle trade in NI “came under pressure” last week with the majority of prices back from the previous week, the LMC noted.

The average steer price in NI last week was back 2.7p/kg to 370.7p/kg with the R3 steer price back by 3.2p/kg to 379.3p/kg.

In the same week last year, the R3 steer price was 339.4p/kg. The average NI heifer price last week decreased by 2.7p/kg to 370.1p/kg. Meanwhile, the R3 heifer price was back 3.6p/kg to 378.4p/kg.

In the same week in 202, the R3 heifer price was 341.8p/kg. The average young bull price in NI last week was back 3.4p/kg to 356.9p/kg with the R3 young bull price increasing by 4.2p/kg to 368.6p/kg.

Meanwhile, the NI cow trade improved last week from the previous week. According to the LMC, the average NI cow price paid up almost 2p/kg to 258.5p/kg. Furthermore, the O3 cow price was up just over a penny to 282.2p/kg.

In GB last week, the average steer price was back 0.8p/kg to 374.3p/kg with the R3 steer price up half a penny to 381.1p/kg from the previous week. This places the R3 steer price in GB at 1.8p/kg above the equivalent price in NI.

Last week, the average heifer price in GB decreased by just under a penny to 374.1p/kg. Besides, the R3 heifer price was marginally up 0.3p/kg to 381.7p/kg. This places the R3 heifer price in GB at 3.3p/kg above the same price in NI.

The average cow price and O3 cow price in GB both increased by 0.3p/kg last week to 253.3p/kg and 273.2p/kg, respectively. This price increase puts the O3 cow price in GB at 9p/kg below the same price in NI.


The deadweight trade for prime cattle in ROI “continued to come under pressure” last week, the LMC noted.

All reported prices were back from the previous week. The R3 steer price in ROI last week was the equivalent of 327.9p/kg, back 6.3p/kg from the previous week. This puts the R3 steer price in ROI at 51.4p/kg behind the same price in NI.

Meanwhile the, R3 heifer price decreased by 7p/kg to the equivalent of 331p/kg, 47.4p/kg below the corresponding price in NI.

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