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NI Beef Trade: Farmers ‘encouraged to shop around to get the best deal’

Base quotes from the major NI beef processing plants continued to hold steady this week with quotes for in-spec U-3 steers and heifers ranging from 324-334p/kg., according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

“Most of the plants are quoting at the upper end of this range and producers are encouraged to shop around to get the best deal for their cattle.”

“Quotes for O+3 grading cows also remained steady at 240-250p/kg with similar quotes expected next week.” the LMC added.

Prime cattle throughput in local plants last week totalled 7,185 head. This was up 109 head from the previous week and just ahead of the 7,048 head killed locally during the same week last year.

Cow throughput in NI last week totalled 2,137 head, up 123 cows from the previous week and 205 above the 1,932 cows reported in the same week in 2019.

Imports of cattle for direct slaughter from ROI last week consisted of 208 prime cattle and 106 cows. A further eight prime cattle and 112 cows were imported from GB for direct slaughter in local plants. Exports of cattle from NI to ROI for direct slaughter last week included three steers and 44 cows while no cattle were exported to GB for direct slaughter.

Average prices

The LMC outlined that the average NI steer price last week came back by almost a penny to 332.3p/kg while the R3 steer price was up by 1.4p/kg to 341.4p/kg.

In the corresponding week in 2019, the R3 steer price was 349.1p/kg. The average heifer price in NI last week decreased by 1.3p/kg to 335.1p/kg when compared to the previous week with the R3 heifer price remaining steady at 342.4p/kg.

In the same week in 2019, the R3 heifer price was 351p/kg. The average price for young bulls last week increased by 1.6p/kg to 316.5p/kg with the R3 young bull price increasing by half-a-penny to 326.4p/kg.

The average cow price in NI last week reported a slight increase to 238.7p/kg with the O3 cow price up by 3.3p/kg to 258.1p/kg.

The average GB steer price increased by 0.8p/kg to 333.5p/kg last week while the R3 steer price was back by the same margin to 340.4p/kg. R3 steer prices recorded increases in Southern England (+ 2.4p/kg), Northern England (+1.8p/kg) and the Midlands (+1.5p/kg) last week while the R3 steer price decreased in Scotland by 6.5p/kg. The average heifer price in GB increased by 1.6p/kg to 335p/kg last week while the R3 heifer price increased slightly to 340.1p/kg.

The R3 heifer price recorded increases in both the Midlands (+2.9p/kg) and Northern England (+1.3p/kg) with the R3 heifer price back by half a penny in both Southern England and Scotland.

In GB last week, the average cow price was up by 0.4p/kg to 230.5p/kg with the O3 cow price up slightly to 252.2p/kg. This puts it 5.9p/kg below the O3 cow price in NI.

ROI

“In ROI, last week deadweight cattle prices improved across all of the grades.”

“The ROI R3 steer price increased by 2.4p/kg to the equivalent of 311.8p/kg – this is 29.6p/kg below the NI R3 steer price.”

“The R3 heifer price was up by 3.1p/kg to the equivalent of 316.9p/kg this is 25.5p/kg below the NI R3 heifer price last week.”

The O3 cow price in GB, the LMC added, increased by the equivalent of 3.6p/kg last week to 245.6p/kg, 12.5p/kg below the same price in NI.

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