Beef prices have come under pressure across plants in Northern Ireland.
The majority of beef factories quotes between 362-370p/kg for in-spec U-3 grading steers and heifers this week, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).
The deadweight cow trade has “firmed” with base quotes for O+3 grading cows of 265-280p/kg this week.
Last week, prime cattle throughput in local plants totalled 6,839 head, back 126 head from the previous week.
This is also back just over 100 head from the corresponding week in 2020, when 6,940 prime cattle were killed in local plants.
Furthermore, cow throughput in local plants increased by 229 head last week to total 1,883 cows, a similar throughput compared to the corresponding week in 2020.
Exports and imports
Imports of cattle from ROI for direct slaughter in local plants last week increased to 282 prime cattle and 71 cows. This the highest level of imports from ROI to date in 2021, according to the commission.
There were no cattle imported from GB last week for direct slaughter in local plants.
Exports of cattle out of NI for direct slaughter have continued at relatively low levels, with five prime cattle and 29 cows destined for processing plants in ROI last week with no cattle exported from NI to GB for direct slaughter during 2021 to date.
Northern Ireland beef price report
The NI deadweight trade for prime cattle has “come under pressure”, with most steer and heifer prices back in the region of 2- 5p/kg.
The average steer price in NI fell by 2.4p/kg to 373.4p/kg. The R3 steer price is back by 3.4p/kg to 382.5p/kg, which puts it 42p/kg above the R3 steer price in the same week last year.
The average NI heifer price was back by just over 5p/kg to 372.8p/kg last week. Meanwhile, the R3 heifer price was back by almost 3p/kg to 382p/kg, which puts it 40p/kg ahead of the R3 heifer price in the same week in 2020.
The average young bull price in NI last week was 360.3p/kg, back just over 2p/kg from the previous week.
Meanwhile, last week, the average cow price in NI decreased by 2.2p/kg to 256.6p/kg, with the O3 cow price up by 0.4p/kg to 281.1p/kg.
In GB, last week, the deadweight trade for prime cattle has also come under pressure, according to the LMC. It noted that the average steer price back almost 3p/kg to 375.1p/kg.
The R3 steer price in GB decreased by 2.4p/kg last week to 380.6p/kg when compared to the previous week.
Last week, the average heifer price in GB declined by 1.7p/kg to 375p/kg, with the R3 heifer price back by a similar margin to 381.4p/kg.
However, the LMC pointed out, the cow trade in GB has “shown signs of improvement” last week, with average prices up in the majority of regions.
The average GB cow price was up 2.6p/kg to 253p/kg, which places it 3.6p/kg behind NI’s equivalent price.
Deadweight cattle prices also declined in ROI last week from the previous week.
“This, along with a strengthening sterling, has meant prices for all classes of prime cattle were back in the region of 4-6p/kg in sterling terms.” the LMC added.
“The R3 steer price in ROI was back just over 4p/kg to the equivalent of 334.2p/kg while the R3 heifer price was back by 4.7p/kg to 338p/kg.”
“The O3 cow price in ROI last week decreased by 6.7p/kg to the equivalent of 261.7p/kg. This puts the O3 cow price at 19.4p/kg below the same price in NI.”
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