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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: Is a base price of €5.00/kg in sight?

March 2022 beef prices

The base price is edging closer to €5.00/kg, as several beef factories moved quotes up a notch by a further 5-10c/kg this week.

In most outlets, the base price for steers is starting at €4.65/kg, pushing up to €4.70/kg-€4.75/kg, while the base price for heifers is €4.75/kg in most plants, with €4.80/kg available in some factories.

That’s Farming understands that one processor has set its heifer base price at €4.90/kg.

In terms of young bulls, quotes for these vary from €4.70-€4.80/kg for R and U grades, with €4.50-€4.60/kg on the table for Os.

Meanwhile, in terms of cull cows, P grades are starting at €4.00/kg in most factories, with €4.20-€4.25/kg for O grades and as high as €4.40/kg on the table for Rs.

Furthermore, some plants are quoting up to €4.50/kg for U grade cull cows.

Throughput in DAFM beef plants

According to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s database, last week’s kill stood at 26,409 head (two bank holidays on Thursday and Friday).

The figures for the week commencing March 14th, 2022 were as follows:

  • Young bulls: 1,536;
  • Bulls: 372;
  • Steers: 9,140;
  • Cows: 5,617;
  • Heifers: 7,201.

This is compared to 31,255 head slaughtered in DAFM-approved plants in the corresponding period in 2021.

  • Young bulls: 2,175;
  • Bulls: 562;
  • Steers: 11,790;
  • Cows: 5,697;
  • Heifers: 8,901.

The kill for the year-to-date (excluding this week’s throughput) stands at 384,650 head, compared to 355,456 during the corresponding period in 2021.

2022 throughput for year-to-date:
  • Young bulls: 36,723;
  • Bulls: 5,164;
  • Steers: 130,055;
  • Cows: 80,034;
  • Heifers: 112,590.
Beef prices March 2022: Northern Ireland

Beef factories across Northern Ireland increased cull cow, bullock, heifer, and young bull quotes last week.

According to the LMC (Livestock and Meat Commission), the deadweight cattle trade “continued to strengthen” last week.

Base quotes for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle from major Northern Irish processors ranged from 392-404p/kg.

Good quality O+3 grade cows witnessed a rise to the tune of 10p/kg, while quotes varied from 280-324p/kg across factories this week.

According to the LMC:

  • The average steer price rose by 5.4p to 407.1p/kg, while the R3 steer price was up by 5.3p/kg to 416.2p/kg compared to the previous week;
  • Besides, the average heifer price in NI last week increased by 5.3p/kg to 407.6p/kg, while the R3 heifer price up by 4.2p/kg to 415.5p/kg;
  • The average young bull price in NI increased by just over 4p/kg to 385p/kg, while the R3 young bull price was up just over a penny to 399.3p/kg;
  • Meanwhile, the NI average cow price was up by 7.7p/kg to 299.1p/kg and the O3 cow price increased by 6p/kg to 322p/kg.
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