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HomeBeefBeef trade: Bullock, young bull, and cull cow prices up
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: Bullock, young bull, and cull cow prices up

Beef prices December 2021

This week, factories across Northern Ireland increased steer, young bull, and cull cow prices.

That is according to the LMC (Livestock and Meat Commission), which reported that heifer prices fell slightly.

It said that similar to the previous week, deadweight prime cattle prices “continued to report a mixed performance”.

This week, base quotes from the plants for U-3 grading prime cattle “remained steady,” ranging from 388-394p/kg.

On the other hand, good quality O+3 cows continued to range from 260-290p/kg. However, according to the LMC, most plants quoted in the region of 280-290p/kg.

Beef prices December 2021

  • The average NI steer price was up 0.7p/kg to 393.6p/kg with the R3 steer price up 0.3p/kg to 403.6p/kg. The average heifer price in NI last week was back 1.3p/kg to 395.0p/kg with the R3 heifer price back a penny to 403.2p/kg;
  • The average young bull price in NI rose by 0.3p/kg to 379.6p/kg, while the R3 young bull price was back 2.3p/kg to 390.0p/kg. In the same week last year, the R3 young bull price was 364.1p/kg, 25.9p/kg behind current levels;
  • Meanwhile, the average cow price in NI last week was up by 0.2p/kg to 270.9p/kg, with the O3 cow price back 0.6p/kg to 297.0p/kg.

Throughput of prime cattle in local plants improved last week with 7,386 head processed. This was an increase of 458 head compared to the previous week when 6,928 head were processed.

Furthermore, this was 757 head more than the 6,629 prime cattle processed in local plants during the same week in 2020.

Last week, cow throughput in NI was “back slightly” from the previous week to total 2,620 head.

Exports and imports

Imports of cattle for direct slaughter from ROI increased last week to 228 prime cattle and 167 cows.

“Exports of cattle out of NI for direct slaughter have continued to operate at low levels with one prime cattle and 47 cows exported to ROI last week while no cattle were exported to GB,” the LMC pointed out.

GB beef prices

According to the LMC, deadweight trade for prime cattle in GB “continued to come under pressure”.

  • The average GB steer price was back 2.7p/kg to 408.8p/kg, while the R3 steer price was back 2.3p/kg to 416.5p/kg. “The differential between the NI and GB R3 steer price last week narrowed from the previous week to 12.9p/kg.”
  • Meanwhile, the average heifer price in GB last week was 406.5p/kg, back 1.7p/kg, while the R3 heifer price decreased by 2.5p/kg to 415.6p/kg. “This puts the R3 heifer price in GB at 12.4p/kg above NI levels.”
  • Meanwhile, the GB cow trade showed “signs of improvement” with the average cow price up 3.2p/kg to 255.1p/kg. The O3 cow price reported an increase of 0.4p/kg to 281.3p/kg, 15.7p/kg below the same price in NI.
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