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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: Factories pull all quotes back a notch

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission, beef prices were “mixed” across plants in Northern Ireland this week (November 2021).

In its weekly market outlook report, the commission outlined that plants reduced cull cows, heifer, steer and young bull quotes.

It reported that base quotes for U-3 grading prime cattle ranged from 386-394p/kg. In the same week last year, processors quoted 360-366p/kg for in-spec U-3 grade steers and heifers.

Quotes for O+3 grading cows “came under pressure” this week and ranged from 260-290p/kg.

November 2021 beef prices

  • The average NI steer price was back 0.2p/kg to 391.6p/kg, while the R3 steer price was back 0.7p/kg to 400.8p/kg. In the corresponding week last year, the R3 steer price was 369.3p/kg, 31.5p/kg behind current levels.
  • Meanwhile, the average heifer price in NI last week was back 0.8p/kg to 394.6p/kg with the R3 heifer price up 0.5p/kg to 402p/kg. In the same week last year, the R3 heifer price was 370.8p/kg, 31.2p/kg behind current levels.
  • The average NI young bull price fell 2.5p/kg to 375.7p/kg, while the R3 young bull price was back 2.1p/kg to 388.5p/kg.
  • The NI cow trade also reported “a mixed performance”. The average cow price was back 1.2p/kg to 273.8p/kg and the O3 cow price fell 1.5p/kg to 304.7p/kg.

The LMC reported that the throughput of prime cattle in local plants improved last week with 7,934 head processed, an increase of 171 head from the previous week.

This was 478 head more than the 7,456 prime cattle processed in local plants during the corresponding week in 2020.

Cow throughput in NI last week increased marginally from the week before to a total of 2,546 head.

According to the LMC, this is the highest weekly throughput to date in 2021. However, this is back 418 head from the 2,964 cattle processed in the same week in 2020.

Exports and imports

Imports from ROI for direct slaughter in local plants last week comprised 297 prime cattle and 176 cows. Furthermore, no cattle were imported from GB for direct slaughter locally.

Meanwhile. exports from NI to ROI last week consisted of two prime cattle and 59 cows, with a further 17 prime cattle and eight cows exported from NI to GB for direct slaughter.

GB beef prices

The LMC reported that the GB deadweight trade for prime cattle “showed signs of improvement”.

  • The average GB steer price was up by 0.7p/kg to 411.3p/kg, while the R3 steer price increased by 1.4p/kg to 419.8p/kg. “This brings the differential between the GB and NI R3 steer price to 19p/kg.”
  • The average GB heifer price remained steady at 408p/kg, while the R3 heifer price reported an increase of 1.4p/kg to 418.2p/kg.
  • However, the cow trade in GB “continued to come under pressure” with all grades back from the previous week. The average cow price fell by a penny to 259p/kg with the O3 cow price back 3.7p/kg to 286p/kg.

Read more beef price updates.

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