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HomeBeefBeef trade: Steer, heifer and young bull prices up but cows ‘mixed’
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: Steer, heifer and young bull prices up but cows ‘mixed’

Update on beef prices in Northern Ireland in January 2022

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), the beef trade “showed signs of improvement” in Northern Ireland this week.

According to a spokesperson, steer, heifer, and young bull prices improved on the previous week, while they reported “a mixed performance” for cull cows.

Base quotes for U-3 grading steers and heifers ended, ranging from 388-394p/kg, with quotes of 388-396p/kg expected for early next week.

On the other hand, 260-290p/kg was on the table for O+3 grade cows, with 260-294p/kg expected early next week.

Beef prices January 2022:

  • According to the LMC, the average steer price rose by a penny to 397p/kg, while the R3 steer price increased by 1.9p/kg to 405.8p/kg;
  • The average heifer price in NI last week increased by 1.2p/kg to 399.1p/kg, while the R3 heifer price increased marginally to 405.8p/kg;
  • The average young bull price was up 2p/kg from the previous week to 376p/kg, while the R3 young bull price was back 3.3p/kg to 388.3p/kg;
  • Meanwhile, the cow trade in NI reported “a mixed performance,” with the average cow back 1.2p/kg to 275.3p/kg and the O3 cow price up 2.2p/kg to 304p/kg.

Besides, the LMC reported that prime cattle throughput last week increased by 192 head from the previous week to a total of 7,240 head. This is also up 628 head compared to the same week in 2021 when 6,612 prime cattle were processed locally.

On the other hand, cow throughput in NI last week totalled 2,409 head, up 108 cows from the previous week. This is also up 262 head compared to the 2,147 cows processed in the same week last year.

Exports and imports 

Imports from ROI for direct slaughter in plants in Northern Ireland increased from the previous week to comprise 154 prime cattle and 66 cows. No cattle made the journey from GB for direct slaughter.

Meanwhile, exports from NI to ROI for direct slaughter last week consisted of 16 prime cattle and 84 cows. According to the LMC, no cattle ventured to GB for direct slaughter.

GB beef prices

According to the LMC, in GB, deadweight prime cattle prices “came under pressure” from the previous week.

  • It stated that the average steer price in GB fell by 0.4p/kg to 408p/kg with the R3 steer price back 2.5p/kg to 414.2p/kg. “This brings the differential between the GB and NI R3 steer price to 8.4p/kg, or £29 on a 350kg carcase.”
  • The average heifer price in GB was back by a penny to 406.5p/kg with the R3 heifer price back 1.2p/kg to 414.4p/kg;
  • Meanwhile, the average young bull price in GB was back 1.6p/kg to 387.8p/kg, with the R3 young bull price back by a penny to 404.4p/kg.
  • The cow trade “continued to remain firm,” with the average cow price up 6.3p/kg to 273.6p/kg. The O3 cow price increased by 2.7p/kg to 292.9p/kg, which, the LMC added, is 11.1p/kg behind NI’s levels.

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