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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 trade: 6-8p/kg price boost

Beef prices Northern Ireland

According to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), beef quotes strengthened by 6-8p/kg across Northern Ireland this week.

The increase in quotes stems from reports of the reduced availability of prime cattle for processing.

The majority of plants increased quotes to 370-388p/kg for in-spec U-3 grading steers and heifers. The cow trade also strengthened this week with quotes for good quality O+3 grading cows ranging from 270-294p/kg.


Prime cattle throughput in local plants last week totalled 6,378 head – a decrease of 123 head from the previous week.

In the corresponding week last year, prime cattle throughput in NI totalled 6,094 head.

Meanwhile, 1,623 cows were processed in NI last week – a decrease of 82 cows from the previous week.

According to the LMC, the NI cow throughput recorded the highest weekly throughput to date at 2,367 cows in the same week last year.

Exports and imports

Imports of cattle for direct slaughter from ROI last week consisted of 322 prime cattle and 91 cows with no cattle imported to date this year from GB for direct slaughter locally.

Exports out of NI for direct slaughter last week continued to operate at “very low levels” with one steer and 27 cows exported to ROI while no cattle made the journey to GB for direct slaughter.

Beef prices

The LMC outlined that the NI deadweight prime cattle trade strengthened last week with reports of reduced availability of prime cattle for processing.

The average steer price in NI last week was 381.8p/kg, up just over 2p/kg from the previous week.

Meanwhile, the R3 steer price in NI was up 2.5p/kg to 390.8p/kg. In the same week in 2020 the R3 steer price was 362.1p/kg. The average heifer price in NI last week was 384.9p/kg, up 1.2p/kg from the previous week.

“Meanwhile, the highest ever recorded R3 heifer price was reported in NI last week of 393.5p/kg. This is up 1.7p/kg from the previous week and well above the same week last year when the R3 heifer price was 361.6p/kg.”

The young bull trade also improved last week with the average price up by 1.5p/kg to 371.5p/kg. However, the R3 young bull price came back slightly from the previous week to 381.6p/kg.

Last week, the NI cow trade also strengthened with the O3 cow price reporting an increase of 4.2p/kg to 302.3p/kg. The LMC claims that this is the highest price reported since June 2018.

“In GB last week, the deadweight trade improved across the majority of cattle grades. The average steer price was up 2.6p/kg to 393.4p/kg. The average R3 steer price was up by 3.5p/kg to 398.8p/kg.”

“In the same week last year, the R3 steer price in GB was 368.1p/kg. The average heifer price in GB last week was up 3.6p/kg to 393.9p/kg. The average R3 heifer price increased by almost 3p/kg to 398p/kg.”

In the same week in 2020, the R3 heifer price in GB was 367.5p/kg. Meanwhile last week, the O3 cow price in GB increased by just over 3p/kg to 306.5p/kg.

This, the LMC added, was 4.2p/kg above the same price in NI and the highest reported O3 cow price in GB to date.


In ROI last week, the deadweight prime cattle trade also reported a strengthening in prices from the previous week.

“The R3 steer price increased by the equivalent of 1.5p/kg to 360.5p/kg with the R3 heifer price up by 0.8p/kg to the equivalent of 362.4p/kg.”

“Meanwhile, the O3 cow price in ROI was up by 3.5p/kg to 288.7p/kg last week, which puts it 13.6p/kg below the same price in NI,” the spokesperson added.

Beef price updates here.

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