According to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), factories across Northern Ireland offered base quotes between 362-376p/kg for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle this week.
It reported that quotes of 362-378p/kg are expected for early next week.
The cow trade also “held steady” this week with base quotes for good quality O+3 grade cows ranging from 265-290p/kg.
Last week’s prime cattle throughput totalled 6,982 head – an increase of 231 head from the previous week when 6,751 head were processed locally.
This brings prime cattle throughput for May to 27,139 head, 27.5% above the same period in 2020 when 21,283 prime cattle were processed locally.
Meanwhile, a total of 1,959 cows were processed in NI last week. This brings cow throughput for May to 7,028 head, a 27% increase on the same period in 2020.
Exports and imports
The LMC noted that imports of prime cattle from ROI for direct slaughter in NI last week increased to 455 head, with 56 cows also imported. This brings prime cattle imports from ROI to NI to 5,357 head during 2021 to date, up 1,874 head from the same period last year.
Exports of cattle for direct slaughter in ROI plants last week consisted of 14 prime cattle and 53 cows.
This brings cattle exports for direct slaughter from NI to ROI to 1,165 head during 2021 to date – back 6% from the same period in 2020.
Last week, the NI deadweight prices for prime cattle across most categories “continued to come under pressure”.
The average steer price in NI last week decreased by a penny from the previous week to 378.9p/kg. The R3 steer price decreased by 1.7p/kg to 387.4p/kg.
In the same week in 2020, the R3 steer price reported in NI was 353.1p/kg. The average heifer price in NI last week decreased by just over 2p/kg to 379.8p/kg, with the R3 heifer price back by 1.7p/kg to 387.3p/kg.
In the same week last year, the LMC added, the R3 heifer price was 352.1p/kg.
The O3 cow price in NI recorded a decline of 2.4p/kg to 298.6p/kg last week. Meanwhile, the average cow price reported locally was up by 2p/kg to 279.5p/kg.
“In GB last week, the deadweight prime cattle trade also came under pressure with prices back from the previous week across all regions.”
“The average steer price in GB was back by 3.8p/kg to 394.9p/kg. The average R3 steer price decreased by 4.6p/kg to 398.8p/kg.”
It noted that the R3 steer price in GB was 11.4p/kg higher than the R3 steer price in NI last week.
The average heifer price in GB last week was back by just under 5p/kg to 393.6p/kg, with the R3 heifer price decreasing by almost 4p/kg to 398.8p/kg. This is 11.5p/kg more than the reported R3 heifer price in NI last week.
The O3 cow price in GB was up a penny last week to 302.3p/kg, which was 3.7p/kg above the same price in NI.
The LMC added that in the ROI last week, the R3 steer price and the R3 heifer price both remained
steady from the previous week at the equivalent of 357.8p/kg and 360.8p/kg, respectively. “This puts the R3 steer price in ROI 29.6p/kg lower than the same price in NI with the R3 heifer price 26.5p/kg below the equivalent price in NI.”
“The O3 cow price in ROI came back by 4.8p/kg to 285.6p/kg last week, which is 13p/kg behind the O3 cow price in NI,” the Livestock and Meat Commission concluded.