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NI Beef Trade: All categories continue to come under pressure

Base quotes continued to hold in plants across Northern Ireland this week with from 350-358p/kg quoted for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

It said that these quotes should be used as a “starting point for negotiation” with similar quotes expected for Monday.

Quotes for good-quality O+3 grade cows ranged from 260-270p/kg across the plants with quotes expected to range from 254-270p/kg early next week, it added.


Supplies of prime cattle for processing in NI increased by 170 head to total 6,806 head in local plants last week. However, this is back 581 head when compared to the 7,387 prime cattle processed in the same week last year.

Cow throughput in NI last week increased by 155 head to 1,978 cows, although again, throughput was behind the 2,334 cows processed during the corresponding week in 2019.


Imports from ROI for direct slaughter in local plants, last week increased to 317 prime cattle and 222 cows while no cattle were imported from GB for direct slaughter in NI, according to the LMC.

Exports from NI to ROI for direct slaughter consisted of 13 prime cattle and 87 cows last week with 30 prime cattle and nine cows exported to GB for direct slaughter.


“The NI deadweight trade for all categories of cattle continued to come under pressure last week.”

A decrease of 2.4p/kg was reported in the average steer price to 355.5p/kg with the R3 steer price back by 3.3p/kg to 364.3p/kg.

In the same week in 2019, the LMC added, the R3 steer price was 325.1p/kg. Last week, the NI average heifer price and R3 heifer price both decreased by 2.4p/kg to 359.1p/kg and 365.9p/kg, respectively.

In the corresponding week last year, the R3 heifer price was 327.2p/kg. The average young bull price in NI last week decreased by 8.2p/kg to 340.3p/kg with the R3 young bull price back by 6p/kg to 353.8p/kg.

Meanwhile, the NI average cow price last week decreased by 6.8p/kg to 241.5p/kg with the O3 cow price back by 3.3p/kg to 274.5p/kg. “The deadweight trade for prime cattle also came under pressure in GB last week.”

The average steer price in GB last week was back by 3.2p/kg to 369.7p/kg with the R3 steer price back by 2.7p/kg to 376.6p/kg, according to the commission. “This has widened the differential between NI and GB R3 steer prices to 12.3p/kg last week.”

The average GB heifer price reported a decrease of 2.3p/kg to 370.7p/kg last week while the R3 heifer price was back by 2.7p/kg to 376.1p/kg. This has “slightly narrowed” the differential between NI and GB R3 heifer prices last week to 10.2p/kg.

The average cow price in GB last week came back by 5.3p/kg to 247.7p/kg with the O3 price back by 2.4p/kg to 275.5p/kg, placing it a penny above the equivalent cow price in NI last week.

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