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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 trade: Prices bounce back following recent slip

Update on beef prices in Northern Ireland June 2021:

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

Base quotes for in-spec U-3 grading steers and heifers ended this week, ranging from 362-380p/kg.

Quotes for O+3 grading cows this week held steady ranging from 265-290p/kg. The LMC expects similar quotes for all types of cattle early next week.

“With a range in the base quotes available, producers are encouraged to shop around for the best deal and to use these quotes as a starting point for negotiation.”


Last week, 6,581 prime cattle were processed in NI beef processing plants back just over 400 head from the 6,982 prime cattle processed during the previous week.

This is also a decline from the same week last year when 6,748 prime cattle were processed locally.

Furthermore, cow throughput also decreased last week, with 1,649 cows processed in local plants. This was back from the 1,959 cows processed during the previous week and also a decrease from the 1,878 cows processed in the same week in 2020.

Exports and imports

Last week, imports from ROI for direct slaughter in local plants consisted of 338 prime cattle and 109 cows. Besides, no cattle were imported from GB for direct slaughter locally.

“Meanwhile, exports of cattle out of NI for direct slaughter last week continued to run at low levels with one steer and 44 cows exported to ROI and a further 34 prime cattle and five cows exported to GB for direct slaughter.”

Beef prices Northern Ireland June 2021

Last week, the NI deadweight prime cattle trade reported improvements from the previous week across the majority of grades.

Firstly, the average NI steer price last week increased by 0.6p/kg to 379.5p/kg. Besides, the R3 steer price was up by a similar margin to 388p/kg.

The average NI heifer price last week, the LMC reported, increased by 1.8p/kg to 381.6p/kg, while the R3 heifer price was up just over 3p/kg to 390.4p/kg.

The average young bull price in NI last week increased by 1.8p/kg to 370.1p/kg. The R3 young bull price was up half a penny to 378.6p/kg.

The NI cow trade also improved last week from the previous week. The average cow price was up by a penny to 280.5p/kg and the O3 cow price increased by 1.7p/kg to 300.3p/kg.


According to the LMC, the deadweight trade for prime cattle in GB “continued to come under pressure” last week. As a result, the average GB steer price last week was back by 2.5p/kg to 392.4p/kg. Meanwhile, the average R3 steer price reported a decrease of 0.7p/kg to 398.1p/kg.

“The differential between NI and the GB R3 steer price last week narrowed from the previous week to just over 10p/kg.”

“The average heifer price in GB last week was 392p/kg, back 1.6p/kg. However, the R3 heifer price decreased by almost a penny from the previous week to 397.9p/kg. This puts the R3 heifer price in GB at 7.5p/kg above NI levels.”

The average cow price in GB increased by 2.8p/kg to 280p/kg last week. However, the O3 cow price in GB declined by just over a penny from the previous week to 301.2p/kg.


“In ROI last week, the R3 steer price was marginally back from the previous week to the equivalent of 357.6p/kg. On the other hand, the R3 heifer price held steady at the equivalent of 360.8p/kg.”

“Meanwhile, last week, the O3 cow price was the equivalent of 283.6p/kg, back 2p/kg from the previous week and 16.7p/kg below the same price in NI,” the LMC concluded.

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