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Fewer cattle moving north for slaughter

Base quotes for in-spec U-3 grade steers and heifers strengthened across plants in Northern Ireland at the beginning of this week, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

Quotes from local plants ranged from 358- 366p/kg with similar quotes expected for early next week. “The cow trade has continued to remain steady this week with quotes for good quality O+3 cows ranging from 260-280p/kg.”

Prime cattle throughput in NI plants last week totalled 4,960 head, a decrease of 737 head from the previous week and 341 head less than the 5,301 prime cattle processed in the same week in 2019.

Meanwhile, a total of 1,630 cows were processed in NI plants last week, a decline of 530 cows from the previous week; this is 173 head above the 1,457 cows processed in NI plants in the same week in 2019.


Cattle imports from ROI for direct slaughter in local plants last week consisted of 282 prime cattle and 140 cows with a further one steer and 33 cows imported from GB, according to the LMC.

“Meanwhile, exports from NI for direct slaughter continue at very low levels with two steers and 10 cows exported to plants in ROI while no cattle exported to GB for direct slaughter.”


“The NI deadweight trade for prime cattle last week continued to report increases across the majority of grades.”
The average steer price was 363.7p/kg, up 4.1p/kg from the previous week while the R3 steer price was up by 2.1p/kg to 371.7p/kg.

Meanwhile, it added, the average heifer price in NI last week was up by 2p/kg to 364.2p/kg with the R3 heifer price increasing by just under-a-penny to 371.6p/kg.

The average young bull price in NI last week increased by 2.2p/kg to 354.8p/kg with the R3 young bull price up by 0.8p/kg to 363.6p/kg.

The cow trade reported strong increases in NI last week with the average cow price up by 8.5p/kg to 273.7p/kg while O3 cow price was up by 7.3p/kg to 291.8p/kg.


In GB, last week the majority of deadweight prime cattle prices came back from the previous week.

The average steer price was back by 0.8p/kg to 360.6p/kg with the R3 steer price back by a similar margin to 367.8p/kg.

This puts the GB R3 steer price 3.9p/kg behind the same price in NI, according to the LMC.

The average heifer price in GB last week decreased by just under a penny to 360.5p/kg, while the R3 heifer price was back by 1.2p/kg to 365.8p/kg. This puts the GB R3 heifer price 5.8p/kg behind the equivalent price in NI, the LMC added.

The GB average cow price increased by a penny to 260.9p/kg while the O3 cow price was slightly back last week to 281.6p/kg.

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