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Over 250 cull cows move north for slaughter

Base quotes from the plants for U-3 grading steers and heifers continued to improve and ended this week ranging from 352-360p/kg, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

It explained that the majority of plants quoted towards the upper end of this scale for steers and heifers.

“The cow trade has held steady with quotes for good quality O+3 grading cows ranging from 260-280p/kg. Similar quotes are expected for all types of cattle early next week.”


With supplies of locally produced prime cattle remaining tight prime cattle throughput in local plants last week totalled 6,094 head, a decrease of 639 head from the previous week.

In the same week last year, prime cattle throughput in NI totalled 6,315 head.

Meanwhile, a total of 2,367 cows were processed in NI last week, an increase of 272 cows from the previous week, this being the highest weekly cow throughput in NI during 2020 to date.

Imports of cattle for direct slaughter from ROI last week consisted of 530 prime cattle and 255 cows while a further 2 prime cattle and 31 cows were imported from GB, the LMC added.

Exports out of NI for direct slaughter last week continued to operate at very low levels with 12 cows exported to ROI while no cattle made the journey to GB for direct slaughter.


“The NI deadweight prime cattle trade strengthened and continues to be influenced by the reduced availability of prime cattle for processing.”

The average steer price in NI last week was 354.1p/kg, up 5.4p/kg from the previous week. Meanwhile, the R3 steer price in NI was up 3.4p/kg to 362.1p/kg.

In the same week in 2019, the R3 steer price was 338.8p/kg. The average heifer price in NI last week was 352.6p/kg, up 1.2p/kg from the previous week while the R3 heifer price was up 2.8p/kg to 361.6p/kg.

In the same week in 2019, the R3 heifer price was 337.7p/kg.

The LMC explained that the young bull trade also improved with the average price up by 2.4p/kg to 342.7p/kg with the R3 young bull price up by 2.7p/kg to 354.7p/kg.

Last week, the O3 cow price in NI reported decline of 1.2p/kg to 284.9p/kg while the average NI cow price improved by a penny to 268.7p/kg.

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