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HomeBeefBeef trade: Prices inch upwards in the north
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: Prices inch upwards in the north

Update on beef prices in Northern Ireland April 2021:

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), beef prices strengthened across factories in Northern Ireland this week.

Plants quoted 366-380p/kg for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle this week, while quotes for good quality O+3 cows remained steady at 265-290p/kg.


The LMC highlighted that prime cattle throughput in NI last week totalled 5,888 head, which brings throughput during 2021 to date to 84,374 head. This is back 5.8 per cent when compared to the same period in 2020 when 89,607 prime cattle were processed locally.

Cow throughput in local plants decreased slightly last week to 1,608 head, bringing cow throughput for 2021 to date to 23,790 head. This was back 5.5 per cent from the 25,181 cows processed in local plants in the first quarter of 2020.

Exports and imports

Cattle imports to NI for direct slaughter from ROI last week comprised 233 prime cattle and 66 cows. This brings the total prime cattle imports from ROI in the first quarter of 2021 to 2,993 head, up 600 head from the same period in 2020.

Cattle exports from NI to ROI last week included four prime cattle and 38 cows, bringing the total cattle exports to ROI in the first quarter of 2021 to 654 head, back from 895 head exported in the same period in 2020.

Beef prices Northern Ireland April 2021

“In NI, the deadweight trade strengthened for the majority of cattle grades last week.”
Firstly, the average steer price was up by 4.3p/kg to 377.2p/kg. To note, the R3 steer price increasing by 3.2p/kg to 385.7p/kg.

“The average heifer price in NI last week increased by 3.6p/kg from the previous week to 378.6p/kg. The R3 heifer price increased by 6.2p/kg to 387.8p/kg.”

“The average young bull price was up by just over 4p/kg to 362.4p/kg with the R3 young bull price increasing by 5.4p/kg to 375.6p/kg.”

“Meanwhile, last week, the average cow price in NI recorded a decline of 1.3p/kg from the previous week to 259.2p/kg with the O3 cow price increasing by 3.4p/kg to 288.8p/kg.”

Beef prices in GB

In GB last week, the deadweight trade for prime cattle firmed across the regions compared to the previous week.

Firstly, the average steer price increased by 4p/kg to 397.1p/kg while the R3 steer price increased by 5p/kg to 402.9p/kg.

Similarity, the R3 steer prices improved across all regions most notably in Scotland, which reported an increase of 7.7p/kg to 414.5pkg.

“The GB average heifer price and the R3 heifer price both reported an increase of 4p/kg last week to 395.9p/kg and 402.4p/kg, respectively.”

“R3 heifer prices reported increases across all the regions with the strongest increase reported in Northern England where it was up by almost 6p/kg to 403.1p/kg.

The cow trade also improved in GB last week with the average cow price up by 2.9p/kg to 270.6p/kg, while the O3 cow price increased by 2.6p/kg to 293.9p/kg.

Beef prices in ROI

“In ROI, last week the deadweight prime cattle trade improved in euro terms. However, a weakening in the euro against sterling resulted in prices generally back from the previous week.”

“The R3 steer price in ROI decreased by half-a-penny to the equivalent of 331p/kg, while the R3 heifer price came back by the equivalent of 1.4p/kg to 334.9p/kg.”


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