Base quotes from major processing plants across Northern Ireland ranged from 350- 360p/kg for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle this week, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).
The majority of plants quoted at the “upper end for of this scale”, it said.
“Quotes for good quality O grade cows ranged from 260-270p/kg across the plants this week. Similar quotes are expected for all types of cattle early next week.”
“The plants have indicated an increase in prime cattle throughput in local plants last week although the final figure was unavailable at the time of publication.”
“Unsettled weather conditions and poor grazing conditions have contributed to an increase in supplies of cattle from local producers for slaughter.”
Reports have also indicated good supplies of cows being presented for slaughter.
Decline in ROI imports
Stronger supplies of locally produced cattle and the unsettled weather conditions last week will have contributed to the notable decline in the level of import for direct slaughter when compared to previous weeks.
Imports for direct slaughter from ROI last week consisted of 275 prime cattle and 127 cows. Imports from ROI for direct slaughter during 2020 to date have totalled 9,744 head, up 3,314 head from the same period in 2019 when 6,430 prime cattle were imported.
Meanwhile, cattle exports from NI to ROI for direct slaughter last week included six prime cattle and 105 cows, bringing the total year-to-date cattle exports figure to 1,858 head, a decrease of 1,625 head when compared to the same period in 2019.
“The NI deadweight trade for prime cattle came under pressure last week with majority of grades reporting declines between 4-7p/kg from the previous week.”
The average steer price in NI last week was back by 4.8p/kg to 361.7p/kg with the R3 steer price decreasing by a similar margin to 372.4p/kg. The average heifer price declined by 4.6p/kg to 363.1p/kg with the R3 heifer price back 4p/kg from the previous week to 370.5p/kg.
The average young bull price came back by 4.2p/kg to 351.3p/kg with the R3 young bull price back 6p/kg from the previous week to 361.8p/kg.
Meanwhile, the average NI cow price decreased by 8.7p/kg to 253.4p/kg with the O3 cow price back by 8p/kg to 279.2p/kg.
In GB last week, the reported deadweight cattle prices also came under pressure with declines generally ranging from 1-2p/kg from the previous week, according to the LMC.
The average steer price was back 0.7p/kg to 373.6p/kg while the R3 steer price decreased by a penny to 380.7p/kg.
“This has widened the differential in the R3 steer price between NI and GB to 8.3p/kg last week.”
The average heifer price in GB was up slightly to 373.8p/kg while the R3 heifer price decreased by 1.6p/kg to 378.9p/kg. This puts the differential in the R3 heifer price between NI and GB at 8.4p/kg last week.
The average GB cow price reported a decrease of 2.3p/kg to 262.2p/kg from the previous week with the O3 cow price back by 1.2p/kg to 288.4p/kg.
“In ROI, last week the R3 steer price was the equivalent of 330.3p/kg, back 4.7p/kg from the previous week and just over 42p/kg lower than the R3 steer price in NI.”
“The R3 heifer price in ROI was 331.9p/kg, back 5.5p/kg from the previous week and 38.6p/kg below the R3 heifer price in NI.”
The O3 cow price in ROI last week was back 2.8p/kg to the equivalent of 264.6p/kg, the LMC concluded.