Producers in Northern Ireland received another beef price rise this week. Base quotes for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle remained “steady” across the majority of beef plants in Northern Ireland this week.
That is according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), which reported that factories paid 366-378p/kg across this category. It noted that the majority of plants quoted 370-376p/kg for steers and heifers.
“With this range in base quotes, producers are encouraged to shop around for the best possible deal and to use these base quotes as a starting point for negotiation.”
Quotes for O+3 grading cows ranged from 260-272p/kg across factories this week. Similar quotes are expected for all types of cattle early next week, according to the commission.
Prime cattle throughput in NI last week totalled 6,612 head, an increase of 445 prime cattle when compared to the previous week. However, this is back 475 head from the 7,087 prime cattle processed in NI plants in the corresponding week in 2020.
Cow throughput in NI last week increased by 195 head to 2,147 cows from the previous week.
Imports and exports
Cattle imports from ROI for direct slaughter last week increased to 239 prime cattle and 100 cows. This is similar levels when compared to the same week in 2020 when 239 prime cattle and 111 cows were imported from ROI for direct slaughter in local plants.
Exports from NI to ROI for direct slaughter last week consisted of two steers and 46 cows.
Beef price increases
The deadweight prime cattle trade in NI reported a “sharper” trade last week across the majority of grades. The average steer price in NI last week was 377p/kg up by 3.5p/kg from the previous week. Meanwhile, the average R3 steer price increased by 2.8p/kg to 384.9p/kg.
The average NI heifer price and R3 heifer price both increased by 1.6p/kg last week to 377.7p/kg and 385.8p/kg respectively.
There was also an improvement in the NI young bull trade with the average young bull price up by 2.8p/kg to 361.6p/kg. Furthermore, the average R3 young bull price increased 2.2p/kg to 376.2p/kg.
Meanwhile, the NI deadweight cow trade strengthened last week with the average cow price up 7.3p/kg to 259.8p/kg.
Factories increased O3 cow prices from 5.7p/kg to 282.7p/kg from the previous week.
The deadweight prime cattle trade in GB generally improved from the previous week, the LMC stated.
Firstly, the average steer price in GB last week held “steady” at 377.9p/kg, while the average R3 steer price in GB jumped by 1.6p/kg to 383.4p/kg.
Besides, the R3 steer price reported increases in Scotland (+2.8p/kg), Northern England (+1.1p/kg) and the Midlands and Wales (+1.8p/kg) with a marginal decrease reported in Southern England.
The average heifer price in GB last week reported a 2p/kg increase to 378.9p/kg with the R3 heifer price up a penny from the previous week to 382.7p/kg.
Elsewhere, the R3 heifer price reported increases in Scotland (+4.2p/kg), Northern England (+2.1p/kg) and the Midlands (+0.6p/kg) with a decline reported in Southern England (-1.3p/kg).
The cow trade also improved in GB last week with the average cow price up by 3.7p/kg to 249.3p/kg. Also, the O3 cow price increased by 2.5p/kg to 269.3p/kg.
Beef price increases in ROI
“In ROI last week, the deadweight cattle trade strengthened in euro terms from the previous week.”
“The R3 steer price last week was up by the equivalent of 1.8p/kg to 342.3p/kg, while the R3 heifer price increased by 1.2p/kg to 346.2p/kg. The cow trade also firmed in ROI last week with the O3 cow price up by 2.5p/kg to the equivalent of 269.6p/kg.” the LMC concluded.