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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Beef prices in NI reaching record-high levels

Northern Ireland Beef prices July 2021

While sheep prices are on a downward trend in Northern Ireland, beef prices have reached record-high levels.

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission, base quotes for U-3 grading prime ranged from 380-394p/kg.

It reported that the majority of plants quoted at the upper end of this scale.

Meanwhile, the cow trade “slightly firmed” with base quotes of 275-302p/kg for good quality O+3 grades.


Prime cattle throughput last week totalled 6,525 head – an increase of 342 head on the previous week when 6,183 head were processed locally.

The inclusion of last week’s kill brings the 2021 year-to-date prime cattle throughput to 168,927 head.

This is similar to the same period in 2020 when 168,790 prime cattle were processed locally.

Meanwhile, a total of 1,977 cows were processed in NI last week. This brings the total cow throughput to date to 46,134 head. Again, this is to 2020 levels, when 45,869 cows were processed in NI.

Exports and imports

Imports of prime cattle from ROI for direct slaughter in NI last week increased marginally to 434 head with 149 cows also imported.

This brings prime cattle imports from ROI to NI to 7,199 head during 2021 to date. According to the LMC, this is a 15% increase from the same period last year.

Exports of cattle for direct slaughter in ROI plants last week consisted of two steers and 63 cows. This brings cattle exports for direct slaughter from NI to ROI to 1,353 head during 2021 to date.

This is a similar level from the same period in 2020 when 1,369 cattle were exported out of NI for direct slaughter in ROI.

Northern Ireland Beef prices July 2021

The deadweight cattle trade in NI has continued to strengthen across the majority of grades last week, with some of the highest prices ever reported locally.”

“The R3 steer and R3 heifer price in NI both followed a similar trend last week. Prices increased for the fifth consecutive week to 398.3p/kg and 399.7p/kg, respectively. Both prices also recorded the highest ever reported prices in NI to date.”

The deadweight cow trade in NI has also continued to improve. The LMC added that the highest reported O3 cow price was 310.3p/kg, an increase of 2.4p/kg from the previous week.

“This placed the O3 cow price in NI 9.2p/kg ahead of the equivalent price in ROI and 2p/kg below the average GB price for O3 cows.”

GB beef trade:

In GB last week, the deadweight prime cattle trade also firmed.

The LMC pointed out that the average steer price in GB up by 3.7p/kg to 399.4p/kg.

Meanwhile, the average R3 steer price increased by 4.3p/kg to 405.3p/kg. The R3 steer price in GB was 7p/kg above the R3 steer price in NI last week.

The average heifer price in GB last week was up by almost 3p/kg to 398.3p/kg. To note, the average R3 heifer price increased by 2.7p/kg to 404.3p/kg, 4.6p/kg ahead of the reported R3 heifer price in NI last week.

Updates on beef prices.

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