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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 price lift for cull cows, heifers and bullocks

Update on beef prices (cull cows, heifers and bullocks) February 2022. 

Beef farmers across Northern Ireland experienced another price rise in factories this week.

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission, quotes for steers, heifers, and cull cows moved up a notch, while young bull prices were back slightly.

In its weekly market report, it outlined that prices for in-spec U-3 prime cattle “strengthened”, ranging from 390-398p/kg.

It expects quotes to vary from 392-398p/kg from next Monday (February 14th, 2022).

The commission outlined that the cow trade also “strengthened” with quotes for good quality O+3 grading cows ranging from 280-300p/kg.

Beef prices February 2022

  • According to the LMC, the average steer price rose by 1.2p/kg to 397.7p/kg, and the R3 steer price was up 2.8p/kg to 407.6p/kg. In the corresponding week in 2021, the R3 steer price was 385.9p/kg, which is 21.7p/kg behind current levels;
  • Meanwhile, the average heifer price in NI last week rose by 0.3p/kg to 398.1p/kg, with the R3 heifer price up by 1.2p/kg to 406.8p/kg. In the same week in 2021, the R3 heifer price was 384.9p/kg, 21.9p/kg behind current levels;
  • The average young bull price in NI was the only category recording a decline. They were back by almost a penny to 375.9p/kg, while the R3 young bull price was up 1.1p/kg to 389.3p/kg;
  • Lastly, the cow trade remained what the LMC described as “firm”. The average cow price was up 0.1p/kg to 277.2p/kg and the O3 cow price rose by 0.3p/kg to 303.9p/kg.

According to the LMC, last week, prime cattle throughput increased by 326 head from the week prior to a total of 7,800 head. This is up 835 head from the 6,965 head processed in the corresponding week in 2021.

Meanwhile, cow throughput in NI last week comprised 2,246 head, back 75 head from the previous week.

In the corresponding week last year, 1,645 cows were processed in local plants.

Exports and imports

Imports of prime cattle ROI for direct slaughter in NI plants last week consisted of 188 head with 172 cows also imported.

As has been the case all year, there continues to be no cattle imports from GB for direct slaughter in NI.

Likewise, cattle are not being exported from NI to GB for slaughter either.

But, cattle exports from NI for direct slaughter in ROI decreased last week, with three prime cattle and 35 cows making the journey.

GB beef prices
  • According to the LMC, the deadweight trade for prime cattle in GB “came under pressure” last week, unlike Northern Ireland. It noted that most grades reported declines from the previous week.
  • Firstly, the average steer price in GB last week dropped by 0.9p/kg to 406.1p/kg, while the R3 steer price decreased by 1.4p/kg to 412.6p/kg. The R3 steer price in GB reported decreases across most of the GB regions last week, with the strongest decline reported in Southern England of 2.3p/kg to 410.6p/kg;
  • Next,the average heifer price in GB was back 0.6p/kg to 405.3p/kg, with the R3 heifer price back 1.7p/kg to 412.6p/kg. “This brings the differential between the GB and NI R3 heifer price to 5.8p/kg,” the LMC spokesperson noted;
  • Lastly, the cull cow trade in GB, unlike the aforementioned categories, last week “remained firm”. The average cow price was up 3.5p/kg to 278.2p/kg and the O3 cow price rose by 3.7p/kg to 297.4p/kg.

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