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Beef farmers advised to use this week’s quotes as ‘starting point for negotiation’

Base quotes for U-3 grading prime cattle ranged from 322-330p/kg this week, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

It outlined that quotes for early next week are expected to range from 330-336p/kg. “Producers should use these quotes as a starting point for negotiation with higher prices available, particularly for cattle that meet current market specifications.”

“The deadweight cow trade strengthened this week with quotes ranging from 240-256p/kg for good quality O+3 grading cows with quotes for next week ranging from 248-265p/kg.”

“The majority of NI processing plants have indicated a tightening in the supply of all types of cattle for processing.”

Throughput

Prime cattle throughput last week was back from the previous week at 4,847 head; this was 25 per cent behind the same week last year when 6,480 prime cattle were processed locally.

Cow throughput also declined with 1,196 cows processed in local plants last week; this a decrease of 15.5 per cent when compared to the same week in 2019 when 1,415 cows were processed.

Imports of cattle from ROI for direct slaughter in local plants increased last week to 217 prime cattle and 32 cows with no cattle imported from GB for direct slaughter.

Exports from NI to ROI for direct slaughter also increased with 12 prime cattle and 94 cows exported last week while no cattle made the journey from NI to GB for processing, the LMC added.

Prices

“The deadweight trade for all types of cattle improved in NI across all of the grades, primarily due to a tightening in the supply of cattle.” the LMC outlined. 

The average steer price increased by 5.4p/kg to 321.8p/kg with the R3 steer price up by 4p/kg to 329.9p/kg. The average heifer price jumped by 4.3p/kg last week to 324.2p/kg while the R3 heifer price was up by 5.9p/kg to 332.5p/kg.

The trade for young bulls improved in NI last week with the U3 price increasing by 7.3p/kg to 325.6p/kg.

The cow trade also firmed last week with the average cow price up by 11.3p/kg to 228.7p/kg and the O3 cow price increasing by just over 8p/kg to 249.4p/kg, the LMC added.

GB

The LMC explained that last week in GB, the average steer price was marginally back to 324.3p/kg while the average R3 steer price was up by half-a-penny to 331p/kg.

“However there were variations in the R3 steer price across the regions with declines reported in Scotland (-2.9p/kg) and Northern England (- 3.5p/kg) and increases reported in the Midlands and Wales (+1.9p/kg) and Southern England (+0.5p/kg).”

The average heifer price in GB last week was up just over a penny to 325.1p/kg while the R3 heifer price reported an increase of 1.8p/kg bringing it to 330.1p/kg.

“In all regions, the R3 heifer price improved with the strongest increase in Northern England (+4.3p/kg).”

“The cow trade also improved in GB last week with the O3 cow price up by 2.5p/kg to 246.5p/kg.” the LMC added.

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