Base quotes remained steady across beef plants in Northern Ireland this week.
Factories quoted 384-394p/kg for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle, although “the majority” offered at the upper end of this scale for both steers and heifers.
That is according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), which reported that quotes for good quality O+3 grade cows ranged from 280-302p/kg this week. Most plants quoted in the region of 290-302p/kg.
“Last week in NI, the average steer price was back slightly to 393.2p/kg. The R3 steer price increased by 1.8p/kg to 402.9p/kg.”
“This was up 30.6p/kg from the corresponding week last year when the R3 steer price in NI was 372.3p/kg.”
“The average heifer price in NI last week increased by 0.8p/kg to 396.9p/kg. The R3 heifer price was up marginally from the previous week to 402.6p/kg.”
In the same week in 2020, the R3 heifer price in NI was 373p/kg, almost 30p/kg behind current levels.
Meanwhile, the NI cow trade came “under some pressure” last week. The LMC highlighted that the average cow price was back 5.5p/kg from the previous week to 294.5p/kg.
“The O3 cow price in NI last week was up by 0.8p/kg to 316p/kg. This is just over 28p/kg higher than 287.9p/kg reported in the same week last year.”
Prime cattle throughput last week totalled 6,380 head – an increase of 1,160 head from the previous week. This was 11% higher than the 5,761 head processed during the same week last year.
Furthermore, cow throughput in NI last week totalled 1,976 head – an increase of 580 head from the previous week and a similar throughput compared to the 2,031 processed in the same week in 2020.
Imports and exports
Last week, prime cattle imports from ROI for direct slaughter totalled 365 head, with 171 cows also imported.
Exports from NI for direct slaughter in ROI plants last week consisted of one heifer and 28 cows. Meanwhile, no cattle were exported from NI to GB for direct slaughter last week.
GB beef prices
According to the LMC, the GB deadweight trade for prime cattle improved last week compared to the previous week.
The average steer price was up by 4p/kg to 405.2p/kg, while the R3 steer price increased by 3.6p/kg to 411.6p/kg.
“This placed the GB R3 steer price 8.7p/kg above the R3 steer price in NI last week.”
“The average heifer price in GB last week was 404p/kg, up 2.7p/kg from the previous week while the R3 heifer price increased by a similar margin to 411.2p/kg.”
“This puts the GB R3 heifer price 8.6p/kg higher than the equivalent price in NI last week.”
Beef prices July 2021: ROI
The LMC noted that the ROI deadweight cattle trade strengthened with an increase in the price paid for the majority of cattle grades.
“The R3 steer price was up by 2.8p/kg to the equivalent of 368.6p/kg. The R3 heifer price increased by 3.6p/kg to 373.1p/kg.”
“This has slightly narrowed the differential in R3 heifer prices with NI to 29.5p/kg or £94 on a 320kg carcase. The O3 cow price in ROI was up by 3p/kg to 303.9p/kg, 12.1p/kg below the equivalent price in NI.”
More beef price updates.