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NI beef prices strength as supplies remain tight

Base quotes for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle remained steady in Northern Ireland this week, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

Quotes ranged from 340-346p/kg with similar prices expected for early next week, it added. “The cow trade also held steady this week with base quotes for good quality O+3 grade cows ranging from 260-275p/kg.”

“As reported over the last few weeks, there has been a significant tightening in supplies of prime cattle available for processing.”


Prime cattle throughput last week totalled 5,647 head, a slight increase on the previous week’s figure of 5,466 head.

The inclusion of last week’s throughput brings the 2020 year to date prime cattle throughput to 142,488 head, which is 4.5% below the corresponding period in 2019.

Meanwhile, a total of 1,645 cows were processed in Northern Ireland last week, bringing the total cow throughput to date to 37,321 head – a 3.6% jump on the same period last year.

ROI cattle imported for slaughter

Imports of prime cattle from ROI for direct slaughter in NI last week increased to 458 head with 130 cows also imported, the LMC outlined.

This brings prime cattle imports from ROI to NI to 3,997 head during 2020 to date, back slightly from the same period last year.

Exports of cattle for direct slaughter in ROI plants last week consisted of four prime cattle and 30 cows, bringing cattle exports for direct slaughter from NI to ROI to 1,276 head during 2020 to date, – a drop of 46% from the same period in 2019.

Beef quotes

“Last week, the NI deadweight prices for all types of cattle continued to strengthen due to the tightening in the availability of cattle for processing locally.”

The average steer price in NI last week increased by 9.2p/kg from the previous week to 345.9p/kg with the R3 steer price increasing by just over 7p/kg to 353.1p/kg.

The average heifer price in NI last week increased by 5.5p/kg to 345.6p/kg with the R3 heifer price up by 5.8p/kg to 352.1p/kg.

The O3 cow price in NI recorded an increase of just under 11p/kg to 279.9p/kg last week while the average cow price in the region was up by 11.6p/kg to 260.6p/kg.

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