Base quotes from the major beef processing plants in Northern Ireland for U-3 grade steers and heifers have been holding “fairly steady” and ranged between 324-334p/kg this week, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).
The majority of plants are quoting from 330-334p/kg. “The deadweight cow trade is also holding steady with base quotes for O+3 grading cows of 240-250p/kg this week.”
“Similar base quotes for all types of cattle are expected for early next week. The plants have been reporting a steady supply of cattle for slaughter to meet demand for beef.”
Prime cattle throughput in local plants last week totalled 6,940 head, back 163 head from the corresponding week in 2019 when there were 7,103 prime cattle killed in local plants. While throughput was lower last week than the corresponding week last year, average carcase weights were higher. The average prime cattle carcase weight last week in NI was 348kg, up from 345kg in the same week last year.
The LMC outlined that imports of cattle from ROI for direct slaughter in local plants last week included 180 prime cattle. This, the LMC pointed out, is the fifth consecutive week in which imports of prime cattle for direct slaughter from ROI have declined, back from a peak of 309 prime cattle in the w/e 11 January 2020.
There were also 97 cows imported from ROI for direct slaughter last week which is similar to previous weeks.
There were 14 prime cattle and 97 cows imported from GB last week for slaughter in local plants. “Exports of cattle out of NI for direct slaughter have continued at relatively low levels with 10 prime cattle and 55 cows destined for processing plants in ROI last week.”
There have been no cattle exported from NI to GB for direct slaughter during 2020 to date, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission. “The deadweight trade for prime cattle held relatively steady in NI last week with average steer and heifer prices up in the region of half-a-penny to 332.7p/kg and 335.7p/kg, respectively.”
The R3 steer price in NI last week was back by 1.3p/kg to 340.1p/kg which puts it 7.7p/kg behind the same week last year. The R3 heifer price in NI last week was back by almost a penny to 341.6p/kg which puts it 6.8p/kg behind the same week last year.
The average young bull price in NI last week was 313p/kg, back 3.5p/kg from the previous week. The cow trade “improved slightly” in NI last week with the O3 cow price up by 1.3p/kg to 259.4p/kg with the average cow price up by the same margin to 240p/kg.
“In GB, the deadweight trade for prime cattle has also held steady with average steer and heifer prices within half-a-penny of the previous week at 333.4p/kg and 335.5p/kg respectively.”
“The cow trade in GB has shown signs of improvement with average prices up in all of the regions.”
“The average GB cow price was up 1.9p/kg to 232.4p/kg last week which places it 7.6p/kg behind the equivalent price in NI.” the LMC added.
“Deadweight cattle prices continued to firm in ROI last week in euro terms, however, a strengthening sterling has meant prices for all classes of cattle were back in sterling terms.”
“The R3 steer price was back the equivalent of 2.4p/kg to 309.4p/kg while the R3 heifer price was back by 3.3p/kg to 313.6p/kg.” the LMC concluded.