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NI Beef Trade: Cull cow prices under pressure

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Base quotes for U-3 grade prime cattle ranged from 360-366p/kg across plants in Northern Ireland this week, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

It noted that the majority of plants quoted at the upper end of this scale for both steers and heifers.

Quotes for good quality O+3 grade cows ranged from 270-285p/kg with the majority quoting in the region of 270-280p/kg. “Similar base quotes for all types of cattle are expected for Monday.”

Throughput

Prime cattle throughput last week totalled 5,761 head, representing an increase of 801 head from the previous week and 13% higher than the 5,086 head processed during the same week last year.

Cow throughput in NI last week totalled 2,031 head, an increase of 401 head from the previous week and 19% above the 1,702 processed in the same week in 2019.

Imports

Prime cattle imports from ROI for direct slaughter last week totalled 373 head with 233 cows also imported, the LMC added.

Meanwhile, imports from GB for direct slaughter comprised of 3 steers and 29 cows.

Exports from NI for direct slaughter in ROI plants last week consisted of 42 cows, while no cattle were exported from NI to GB for direct slaughter last week.

Prices

“The NI deadweight prices for prime cattle have reported a mixed trade last week after a prolonged period of steady improvement.”

The average NI steer price was back by 1.3p/kg to 362.4p/kg, while the R3 steer price increased by 0.6p/kg to 372.3p/kg, an increase of 40p/kg from the corresponding week last year when the R3 steer price in NI was 332.5p/kg.

The average heifer price in NI last week increased by 2.2p/kg to 366.4p/kg, while the R3 heifer price was up by 1.4p/kg to 373p/kg.

In the same week in 2019, the R3 heifer price in NI was 335.7p/kg, 37.3p/kg behind current levels.

Meanwhile, the NI cow trade came under some pressure with the average cow price back just under 2p/kg to 271.8p/kg.

The O3 cow price in NI last week was back by 3.9p/kg to 287.9p/kg, 32.5p/kg higher than 255.4p/kg reported during the corresponding period last year.

GB

The GB deadweight trade for prime cattle improved last week compared to the previous week, according to the LMC.

The average steer price was up by 2p/kg to 362.6p/kg while the R3 steer price held steady at 367.8p/kg, placing the GB R3 steer price 4.5p/kg behind the R3 steer price in NI last week.

The average heifer price in GB last week was 362.4p/kg, up almost 2p/kg from the previous week while the R3 heifer price increased by 1.7p/kg to 367.5p/kg, putting the GB R3 heifer price 5.5p/kg behind the equivalent price in NI last week.

ROI

“Last week, the ROI deadweight cattle trade continued to improve with an increase in the price paid for the majority of cattle grades.”

The R3 steer price was up by 2.4p/kg to the equivalent of 341.1p/kg while the R3 heifer price increased by a similar margin to 343.8p/kg, the LMC said.

“This has slightly narrowed the differential in R3 heifer prices with NI to 29.2p/kg or £93 on a 320kg carcase.”

The O3 cow price in ROI was up by 6p/kg to 270.1p/kg, 17.8p/kg below the equivalent price in NI.

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