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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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Beef trade: What is the north/south price difference?

Beef prices in Northern Ireland July 2021 

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

It reported that base quotes for in spec U-3 grade steers and heifers ranged from 384-394p/kg across local plants.

The cow trade has also continued to remain steady this week, with quotes for good quality O+3s ranging from 275-302p/kg.

July beef prices:

“The NI deadweight trade for prime cattle last week remained strong with increases across many grades.”

Firstly, the average steer price was 393.5p/kg, up a penny from the previous week. However, the R3 steer price was back just over a penny to 401.1p/kg.

Meanwhile, the average heifer price in NI last week was up by 1.6p/kg to 396.1p/kg. On the other hand, the R3 heifer price decreased by 0.4p/kg to 402.3p/kg.

The average young bull price in NI last week increased by 3.5p/kg to 386.7p/kg, with the R3 young bull price up by 1.5p/kg to 394.3p/kg.

The cow trade in NI reported a “strong increase” in the average cow price up by almost 7p/kg from the previous week to 300p/kg. The O3 cow price was up by 0.6p/kg to 315.2p/kg.


The LMC pointed out that prime cattle throughput in NI plants last week totalled 5,220 head, decreasing 923 head from the previous week.

However, this is an increase of 260 head when compared to the 4,960 prime cattle processed in the same week last year.

Meanwhile, a total of 1,396 cows were processed in NI plants last week. This represented a decrease of 565 cows from the previous week and 234 head less than the 1,630 cows processed in NI plants in the same week in 2020.

Cattle imports from ROI for direct slaughter in local plants last week consisted of 263 prime cattle and 106 cows.

Meanwhile, exports from NI for direct slaughter continue at very low levels with one heifer, 33 cows and one bull exported to plants in ROI. No cattle were exported to GB for direct slaughter.


According to the LMC, in GB last week, most deadweight prime cattle prices strengthened from the previous week.

The average steer price was up marginally to 401.2p/kg, with the R3 steer price up 2.2p/kg to 408p/kg. This puts the GB R3 steer price at almost 7p/kg above the same price in NI.

The average heifer price in GB last week increased by 1.4p/kg to 401.3p/kg, while the R3 heifer price was up by 2.4p/kg to 408.6p/kg. “This puts the GB R3 heifer price 6.3p/kg higher than the same price in NI.”

“Meanwhile, the GB average cow price decreased by 0.6p/kg to 291.7p/kg last week. The O3 cow price was back by a similar margin to 313.9p/kg.”


The LMC added that in ROI last week, the deadweight trade for prime cattle reported increases with most grades.

“However, a weakening in the euro against sterling last week has resulted in decreases in prices from the previous week.”

“The R3 steer price and R3 heifer price in ROI last week both decreased by the equivalent of 0.8p/kg to 365.8p/kg and 369.5p/kg, respectively.”

“Meanwhile, the O3 cow price in ROI last week remained steady at 300.9p/kg, which places it 14.3p/kg less than the same price in NI. This puts the differential in value of a 300kg O3 grading cow carcase at £43 between ROI and NI.”

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