Update on beef prices in Northern Ireland this week
According to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), processors quoted between 362-370p/kg for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle this week.
The commission noted that the majority of plants quoted at the upper end for steers and heifers.
Quotes for good quality O+3 grade cows ranged from 265-280p/kg across the plants this week.
Prime cattle throughput in NI plants last week totalled 6,526 head, a decline of 204 head from the previous week.
The cumulative prime cattle kill was back 315 head when compared to the 6,841 prime cattle processed in the corresponding week in 2020.
Meanwhile, cow throughput in NI plants last week decreased by 343 head to 1,659 cows from the previous week. This is 269 head below the 1,928 cows processed in local factories in the same week in 2020.
Imports and exports
According to the LMC, prime cattle imports from ROI for direct slaughter in NI plants last week increased to 298 head. Besides, 75 cows were also imported for direct slaughter.
In the corresponding week in 2020, there were 135 prime cattle and 66 cows imported from ROI for direct slaughter. Meanwhile, no cattle were imported from GB last week for direct slaughter in local plants.
Exports from NI to ROI for direct slaughter last week included four prime cattle and 38 cows. The LMC outlined that no cattle made the journey to GB for direct slaughter.
Beef prices in Northern Ireland this week
The average steer price in NI increased by 1.5p/kg to 370.8p/kg. Furthermore, the R3 steer price was up by almost 3p/kg to 381.2p/kg compared to the previous week.
The LMC reported that the average heifer price in NI decreased by 1.8p/kg to 369.5p/kg. Besides, the R3 heifer price fell back just under a penny to 377.9p/kg.
The average young bull price in NI last week was 354.9p/kg, up 0.8p/kg from the previous week. The R3 young bull price decreased by 6.2p/kg to 363.4p/kg.
“The cow trade in NI improved, with the average cow price up almost 4p/kg to 263.3p/kg and the O3 cow price increasing by 3.5p/kg to 284.5p/kg.”
The average steer price in GB was up 1.2p/kg to 378p/kg, with the average R3 steer price up by 1.8p/kg to 383.8p/kg.
GB beef prices
According to the commission, the differential last week in R3 steer prices between NI and GB was 2.6p/kg.
In the same week last year, the differential between the regions was 3.4p/kg.
The average heifer price in GB last week increased by 1.3p/kg to 377.3p/kg while the average R3 heifer price increased by 3.3p/kg to 384.2p/kg.
“This puts the differential in R3 heifer prices last week between NI and GB at 6.3p/kg. In the corresponding week in 2020, the differential between NI and GB was 4.7p/kg.”
Last week, the O3 cow price in GB was up 1.7p/kg to 279.8p/kg, 4.7p/kg lower than O3 grade cows in NI.
Republic of Ireland
The LMC highlighted that in the ROI last week, beef prices showed signs of improvement across all price reported grades.
“The R3 steer price was up by the equivalent of 2.7p/kg to 328.3p/kg, almost 53p/kg behind the R3 steer price in NI. The R3 heifer price increased by 2.5p/kg to the equivalent of 332.1p/kg, which places it 45.8p/kg behind the corresponding price in NI.”
“The O3 cow price in ROI last week recorded an increase of 3.3p/kg to the equivalent of 260.1p/kg, 24.4p/kg below the same price in NI.” the LMC concluded.