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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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NI beef prices up £100/head on last year

Beef plants across Northern Ireland increased cull cow, heifer, and young bull prices this week, while steer quotes were down slightly on the previous week.

That is according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), which, in its weekly market outlook report, states that factories paid between 388-394p/kg for U-3 grading prime cattle.

Besides, this week’s quotes for good quality O+3 grading cows continued to range from 260-290p/kg.

Beef prices December 2021:

According to the LMC:

  • The average steer price in NI reported a drop of 0.4p/kg to 392.9p/kg, while the R3 steer price was back 0.6p/kg to 403.3p/kg. In the same week in 2020, the R3 steer price in NI was 376.8p/kg, which is 26.5p/kg behind current levels. “On a 350kg carcase, this is the equivalent of £93,” the LMC commented.
  • The average heifer price was up marginally to 396.3p/kg, while the R3 heifer price was up 0.3p/kg to 404.2p/kg. In the same week last year, the R3 heifer price in NI was 376.2p/kg, 28p/kg behind current levels, which equates to £92 on a 330kg carcase.
  • Young bull prices were also up in NI, with the average price up 3.5p/kg to 379.3p/kg and the R3 young bull price up 4.4p/kg to 392.3p/kg;
  • Meanwhile, the average cow price increased by 3p/kg to 270.7p/kg, while the O3 cow price increased by a penny to 297.6p/kg.

The LMC reported that prime cattle throughput last week decreased by 465 head from the previous week to a total of 6,928 head.

Last week, cow throughput in NI totalled 2,677 head, up 37 head from the previous week.

Exports and imports

Furthermore, cattle imports from ROI for direct slaughter in local plants increased last week to 206 prime cattle and 121 cows.

According to the LMC, this brings prime cattle imports from ROI to NI to 14,066 head during 2021 to date. The body noted that equates to an increase of almost 400 head from the corresponding period in 2020.

Meanwhile, exports from NI to ROI consisted of 60 cows, and no cattle made the journey from NI to GB.

GB: Beef prices December 2021:

The LMC reported that the deadweight trade for prime cattle in GB “came under pressure” last week compared to the previous week.

  • The average steer price was back by 2.1p/kg to 411.5p/kg, while the R3 steer price decreased by 3.5p/kg to 418.8p/kg.
  • The R3 steer price reported decreases across all GB regions last week. Scotland reported the strongest decline, of 5.4p/kg to 418.9p/kg.
  • The average heifer price in GB fell by 2.7p/kg to 408.2p/kg, with the R3 heifer price back 2.9p/kg to 418.1p/kg. The R3 heifer price was also back across all GB regions last week.
  • Meanwhile, the GB cow trade “remained under pressure”. As a result, the average cow price was back 4.8p/kg to 251.9p/kg. According to the LMC, this is 18.8p/kg behind current NI levels. The O3 cow price in GB was back 1.4p/kg to 280.9p/kg.
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