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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
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 prices: Tight prime cattle supplies driving northern trade

Beef prices Northern Ireland July 2021:

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission, beef factories across Northern Ireland quoted 376-392p/kg for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle this week.

It noted that prices continued to strengthen, with quotes for early next week expected to range from 380-392p/kg.

The cow trade also strengthened across the plants this week at 275-300p/kg for good quality O+3s, with similar quotes expected for early next week.

Beef prices Northern Ireland July 2021:

The LMC added that tight prime cattle supplies continue to influence the NI deadweight trade, with increases in the region of 4-8p/kg reported across the majority of grades last week.

According to the LMC, in NI, last week, the highest recorded R3 steer price and R3 heifer price were reported at 395.1p/kg and 398p/kg, respectively, with both prices up over 4p/kg from the previous week.

Meanwhile, the average steer price in NI last week was 385.3p/kg, up 3.5p/kg from the previous week, while the average NI heifer price increased by 5p/kg to 389.9p/kg.

The NI cow trade also strengthened last week. The average NI cow price was up by almost 2p/kg from the previous week to 281.6p/kg. The O3 cow price increased by 5.6p/kg to 307.9p/kg.


Last week, prime cattle throughput in local plants totalled 6,183 head – a decrease of 195 head on the 6,378 prime cattle processed the previous week.

In the same week last year, prime cattle throughput totalled 6,727 head.

Last week, in Northern Ireland, the number of cows processed increased by 124 head to 1,747 cows.

However, this is back 461 cows from the same week in 2020 when cow throughput totalled 2,208 head.

Exports and imports

Imports for direct slaughter from ROI last week increased from the previous week to 423 prime cattle and 142 cows with no cattle imported from GB for direct slaughter.

Exports from NI for direct slaughter in ROI plants last week consisted of five prime cattle, 12 cows and seven bulls. Furthemore, 33 prime cattle and six cows were exported out of NI for direct slaughter in GB.


The LMC noted that GB deadweight prime cattle trade generally increased last week.

The average steer price was up 2.3p/kg to 395.7p/kg, while the R3 steer price was up by a similar margin to 401p/kg. The R3 steer price reported increases in

  • Northern England (+2.3p/kg);
  • The Midlands (+1.9p/kg);
  • Southern England (+5.8p/kg)
  • A marginal decline reported in Scotland.

The average heifer price in GB last week increased by 1.5p/kg to 395.4p/kg. The R3 heifer price up by 3.6p/kg to 401.6p/kg from the previous week.

Last week, the R3 heifer price increased across all of the GB regions with the strongest increase reported in Northern England of 6.6p/kg to 402.4p/kg.

“The average cow price in GB was up by 1.7p/kg last week to 287.5p/kg with the O3 cow price increasing by 3.6p/kg from the previous week to just over 310p/kg.”
Further reading

Find an update on sheep prices in Northern Ireland

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