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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
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 moving upwards

Northern Ireland beef prices April 2021:

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission, the deadweight cattle quotes in Northern Ireland has “steadily improved” over the past few weeks.

Major processors quoted 368-380p/kg for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle this week, representing an increase of 6p/kg from last month when plants quoted 362-374p/kg.

“The trade for good quality O+3 cows remained steady this week with base quotes ranging from 265-290p/kg. Similar quotes for all types of cattle are expected for Monday.”


Last week, prime cattle throughput in local plants totalled 5,866 head, a similar throughput to the previous week.

However, this is back 778 head from the 6,644 head processed locally during the same week last year. Cow throughput in NI last week totalled 1,446 head, back 162 cows from the previous week and 107 head above the 1,339 cows reported in the same week in 2020.

Exports and imports

Imports from ROI for direct slaughter increased last week to 316 prime cattle and 74 cows with no cattle imports from GB to NI for direct slaughter.

Exports from NI to ROI for direct slaughter last week consisted of 14 prime cattle and 45 cows. Besides, no cattle made the journey to GB for direct slaughter.

Northern Ireland beef prices April 2021

The NI deadweight prime cattle trade “continued to firm” last week from the previous week.

The average steer price last week was up 2p/kg to 379.2p/kg, while the R3 steer price increased by 1.7p/kg to 387.4p/kg.

Meanwhile, the average heifer price and R3 heifer price in NI last week held steady at 378.7p/kg and 387.7p/kg, respectively.

Meanwhile, the average young bull price in NI last week was up just over a penny to 363.5p/kg. Besides, the R3 young bull price increased by 0.7p/kg to 376.3p/kg.

The NI cow trade strengthened last week, with the average cow price up almost 6p/kg to 265.1p/kg. Furthermore, the O3 cow price increased slightly to 289p/kg.


In GB last week, the deadweight cattle trade also strengthened across all of the previous week’s reported grades.

The average steer and heifer prices in GB were both up by just over 3p/kg to 400.2p/kg and 399p/kg, respectively.

“Meanwhile, the R3 steer price increased by 1.3p/kg to 404.2p/kg. This puts the differential in R3 steer prices last week between NI and GB to 16.8p/kg.”

“In the same week in 2020. the R3 steer differential was 6.3p/kg. The R3 heifer price in GB increased by just over 2p/kg to 404.5p/kg, placing the differential in R3 heifer prices last week between NI and GB at 16.8p/kg, while in the corresponding week in 2020, it was 9.6p/kg.

According to the LMC, the average cow price in GB last week recorded an increase of 3.3p/kg to 273.9p/kg, while the O3 cow price was up by 2.5p/kg to 296.4p/kg, placing it 7.4p/kg above the same price in NI.


“In ROI, the deadweight prime cattle prices reported an improving trade in euro terms from the previous week. This, combined with a weaker sterling, has meant prices notably increased in sterling terms.”

“The R3 steer price in ROI was the equivalent of 338p/kg, up by 7p/kg, which puts the differential between NI and ROI to 49.4p/kg.”

“The R3 heifer price was up by 6.7p/kg to the equivalent of 341.6p/kg. This puts the differential between NI and ROI at just over 46p/kg last week.” the LMC concluded.

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