“Downward movement across all grades” is how the LMC (Livestock and Meat Commission) summed up the beef trade in Northern Ireland this week.
According to its weekly market outlook report, base quotes for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle “remained steady” this week and ranged from 420-426p/kg.
Meanwhile, the cow trade witnessed price pulls of up to 4p/kg, with plants placing 335-376p/kg on the table for “good quality” O+3s.
The LMC expects “similar” quotes for prime cattle and cull cows early next week.
NI beef prices this week:
According to the LMC:
- The average heifer price in NI fell by 3.2p/kg to 434.5p/kg, with the R3 heifer price back by 5.1p/kg to 441.8p/kg;
- The average steer price was 430.9p/kg, back 4.8p/kg from the previous week. Meanwhile, the R3 steer price was back 5.2p/kg to 442.2p/kg;
- Meanwhile, the average young bull price in NI decreased by 5.8p/kg to 424.4p/kg, with the R3 young bull price back 6.4p/kg to 433.2p/kg.
The commission reports that during the same week last year, the NI R3 steer, heifer and young bull prices were 401.1p/kg, 402.3p/kg and 394.3p/kg, respectively.
Prime cattle throughput in local plants last week amounted to 5,454 head, down 644 head on the 6,098 prime cattle plants processed the previous week (shorter working week).
In the corresponding week in 2022, prime cattle throughput stood at 5,220 head.
Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland last week, the number of cows processed locally came to 1,522 head. This is 126 head higher than the 1,396 cows processed during the same week in 2021.
Exports and imports
On the other hand, exports from NI for direct slaughter in ROI plants last week comprised seven cows and ten prime cattle.
The LMC reports that no cattle departed NI last week for direct slaughter in GB.
Meanwhile, imports for direct slaughter from ROI last week increased from the previous week to a total of 270 prime cattle and 80 cows
The LMC added that no cattle were imported from GB for direct slaughter.