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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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NI beef trade: Factories pull young bull prices

NI beef prices September 2021

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), factories across Northern Ireland increased all prices except for young bulls this week.

The commission used the words “a mixed performance” to describe the beef trade this week.

NI beef prices September 2021

Base quotes for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle remained “steady” this week, ranging from 384-394p/kg.

Quotes for good quality O+3 cows ranged from 280-300p/kg, with most plants “quoting at the upper end of this scale”.

The commission reported out that during the same period last year, processors quoted 260-270p/kg for good quality O+3 grade cows.

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The average steer price was up 1.4p/kg to 392.5p/kg. The R3 steer price increased to 402.4p/kg, up 1p/kg from the previous week.

The average heifer price in NI last week was up 4.1p/kg from the previous week to 396.5p/kg, with the R3 heifer price up 2.2p/kg to 403.4p/kg.

Meanwhile, cow prices improved across most grades compared to the previous week. The average cow price increased to 0.9p/kg to 284.6p/kg with the O3 cow price up 0.6p/kg to 315.1p/kg.

In contrast, the average young bull price fell 0.1p/kg to 379.6p/kg, with the R3 steer price down 1p/kg to 391.5p/kg. Read a report from the previous week.


Prime cattle throughput last week amounted to 6,498 head – down 290 head on the previous week when 6,788 head were processed locally.

Meanwhile, cow throughput in NI last week totalled 1,813 – a decrease of 503 head from the previous week.

This is similar throughput when compared to the same week in 2020, when 1823 head were processed locally.

Exports and imports

Imports for ROI for direct slaughter in local plants this week comprised 221 prime cattle and 171 cows. On the other hand, Northern Ireland did not import any cattle from GB for direct slaughter locally.

Meanwhile, cattle exports out of NI for direct slaughter continue to run at “low” levels. 4 prime cattle and 26 cows were exported to ROI with no cattle making the journey to GB for direct slaughter.

Beef prices in GB

The GB deadweight trade for prime cattle also reported “a mixed performance” last week.

The average steer price in GB was 411.8p/kg, up 0.7p/kg from the previous week, with the R3 steer price up 0.4p/kg to 417.8p/kg.

“This brings the differential in the R3 steer price between NI and GB to 15.4p/kg,” the LMC pointed out.

Last week, the average heifer price in GB was up 0.3p/kg to 410.4p/kg, while the R3 heifer price was up 0.6p/kg to 417.8p/kg.

Therefore, this puts the GB R3 heifer price 14.4p/kg higher than the equivalent price in NI last week.

On the other hand, the average cow price in GB was back 1.3p/kg to 289.6p/kg last week, with the O3 cow price back 2.3p/kg to 315.6p/kg.

Beef prices in ROI

The LMC reported that the ROI deadweight cattle trade “strengthened with an increase in the price paid for all cattle trades”.

The R3 steer price rose by 1p/kg to 359.1p/kg, bringing the R3 steer price differential between NI and ROI to 43.3p/kg.

“The R3 heifer price was up 1.2p/kg to 362.4p/kg, which takes the R3 heifer price differential between NI and ROI to 41p/kg.”

“The O3 cow price in ROI increased to 302.7p/kg, up 3.5p/kg from the previous week,” the LMC spokesperson concluded.

Read more beef price updates.

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