As has been the case in recent weeks in the ROI, there has been a “further softening” in beef factory prices across Northern Ireland.
That is according to a spokesperson for the LMC (Livestock and Meat Commission), who has reported that base quotes for in-spec prime cattle vary from 454-460p/kg.
Base quotes for O+3 grading cows early next week are expected to fall in the range of 354-370p/kg, with just one plant quoting at the upper end.
A spokesperson said: “Prices paid have declined in correspondence with the base quotes published by LMC.”
“However, producers are reminded quotes should be used as a starting point for negotiation with higher prices available for good quality cattle.”
According to major processors, consumer demand for minced meat “remains strong,” and this has somewhat “supported” the cow trade in recent weeks.
However, prices do continue to fall back, with the O3 cow price in NI down 5.6p/kg on the previous week to 379.4p/kg.
This week, the average price paid for an R3 grading steer in NI was 479p/kg, down 4.2p/kg on the previous week.
Meanwhile, the trade for young bulls recorded a similar decline to steers, while the heifer trade decreased by a “lesser” amount.
The R3 heifer price in NI “remained steady” from the previous week at 481.6p/kg.
Last week, we published the following piece from UFU’s beef and lamb chair, Pay McKay, which outlines how the live ring is providing better beef returns.
He comments on how live ring sales as outperforming factory prices as follows:
Since mid-May, the return farmers have been getting from meat plants for beef began to drop significantly and has been gradually declining ever since.
Our beef farmers with cattle that are ready to sell have made huge investments to produce high-quality stock for processors at this time of the year, and now they are being sold short.
Without committed beef finishers, processors would not be able to deliver guaranteed weekly beef supplies for our key markets, including Europe, which is currently experiencing a tight supply of beef.
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