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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
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 going in one direction only

May 2022 Beef Prices

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission, beef prices continued to move upwards across plants in Northern Ireland this week (May 2022).

It reported that quotes for cull cows, young bulls, bullocks, and heifers improved on the previous week.

Base quotes for U-3 grade prime cattle varied from 392- 424p/kg, with most quoting 420-424p/kg for heifers and steers. The LMC anticipates a 2p/kg rise in prime cattle quotes from next Monday (May 9th, 2022).

Meanwhile, prices for good quality O+3 grade cows ranged from 280-352p/kg. The commission also expects a 4p/kg price increase next week.

According to the LMC,

  • Firstly, the average heifer price in NI was 424.5p/kg, an increase of almost 3p/kg. Meanwhile, the R3 heifer price was 432.3p/kg, up 2.1p/kg from the previous week;
  • The average steer price rose by 2p/kg to 422.2p/kg, while the R3 steer price was up 1.8p/kg to 431.2p/kg;
  • The average young bull price jumped by 3.8p/kg to 406.1p/kg, while the R3 young bull price increased by 4.5p/kg to 419.6p/kg;
  • Meanwhile, the average cow price in NI last week was up “marginally” to 329p/kg. The commission added that the O3 cow price was up 5.8p/kg to 356.3p/kg.


Throughput of prime cattle in NI plants last week amounted to 8,052 head, which was an increase of 1,812 head or 29% compared to the previous week. This is also up 1,360 head or 20% from the 6,692 prime cattle that plants processed in the same week last year.

Cow throughput in NI last week rose by 37% to 2,396 from the previous week. This is an increase of 40% or 683 head compared to the corresponding week last year. This is when 1,713 cows were processed locally.

Imports and exports

Meanwhile, cattle exports from NI for slaughter in ROI plants comprised 11 prime cattle, 39 cows and 8 cull bulls.

Last week, for the seventh week in a row, no cattle made the journey from NI to GB for direct slaughter, but 35 cows were exported.

Imports of prime cattle from ROI for direct slaughter in NI plants last week came to 204 head; 128 cows and one bull were also imported.

Last week, no cattle were imported from GB for direct slaughter in NI. According to the LMC, no cattle have made this journey since the first week of January 2021, post-Brexit.

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