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Beef Trade: Cow kill down 20% on same week last year

The deadweight cattle trade remained steady in Northern Ireland this week, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

It reported that base quotes from the major NI processors for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle ranged 308-318p/kg, with in the region of 314-316p/kg quoted by most plants.

The trade for good quality O+3 cows also remained steady with base quotes this week ranging from 224-230p/kg. “Similar quotes are expected for all types of cattle early next week.”


Prime cattle throughput in NI decreased by 776 head last week to total 5,868 head – a 17% decrease from the corresponding period in 2019 when 7,065 cattle were processed locally.

The average prime cattle carcase weight in NI last week was 344kg compared to 338kg in the same week last year.

Cow throughput in NI last week decreased by 267 head to total 1,072 head; this is the lowest weekly throughput of cows during 2020 to date and is back 20% from the same week last year, according to the LMC.

The average cow carcase weight last week was 304kg compared to 309kg in the corresponding week in 2019.

Imports from ROI for direct slaughter last week consisted of 45 prime cattle with no cattle imports from GB to NI for direct slaughter.

Exports from NI to ROI for direct slaughter last week consisted of three prime cattle and 21 cows while no cattle made the journey from NI to GB for direct slaughter.


“Last week in NI, the deadweight trade for prime cattle generally came under pressure when compared to the previous week.”

The average steer price in NI was 315.3p/kg, back by 2.9p/kg from the previous week while the R3 steer price decreased by 5.8p/kg to 323.1p/kg.

The average heifer price came back by 1.3p/kg to 319p/kg while the R3 heifer price reported an increase of 1.7p/kg to 326.5p/kg.

Meanwhile, the LMC added, the average NI cow price decreased by 3.3p/kg to 209.1p/kg last week with the O3 cow price reporting an increase of 2.2p/kg to 235.1p/kg.


“The deadweight trade for prime cattle also continued to come under pressure in GB last week. The average R3 steer price decreased by 6p/kg to 323.7p/kg with the average R3 heifer price decreasing by a similar margin to 329p/kg.

“The differential in paid prices between NI and GB last week for an R3 grading steer was 5.9p/kg while the differential between the regions for an R3 grading heifer was 2.6p/kg.”

The LMC outlined that deadweight prices for cows have generally remained steady in GB with the average cow reporting a similar price to the previous week at 209.4p/kg, while the O3 cow price increased by half-a-penny to 236.3p/kg.

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