With the availability of locally produced prime cattle remaining tight across NI plants, base quotes continued to strengthen this week.
That is according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), who outlined that quotes for in-spec U-3 grade prime cattle ended this week ranging from 348- 356p/kg with similar quotes expected for early next week.
“Quotes for good quality O+3 cows have held steady this week at 260-275p/kg with the majority of plants quoting in the region of 270p/kg.”
Throughput of prime cattle in NI last week totalled 6,733 head, which is similar to the previous week and well above the figure (6,072) recorded during the corresponding week in 2019.
Cow throughput in NI last week totalled 2,095 head, up 217 head from the previous week and higher than the 1,847 cows processed in the same week in 2019.
Prime cattle imports from ROI for direct slaughter last week totalled 523 head and accounted for 7.8 per cent of the total NI prime cattle kill, the LMC added.
In the corresponding week, last year 65 prime cattle were imported from ROI for direct slaughter in NI and accounted for just 1% of the total NI prime cattle kill.
A further 291 cows were imported last week from ROI for direct slaughter in NI plants and accounted for 13.9% of the total cow kill.
Meanwhile, exports from NI to ROI last week consisted of one steer and 14 cows while for the twelfth consecutive week reports indicate no cattle made the journey to GB for direct slaughter.
“The NI deadweight trade for cattle last week continued to improve in response to the tightening in cattle supplies. The majority of grades generally increased by 2 to 5p/kg from the previous week.” the LMC added.
The average NI steer price increased by 2.8p/kg to 348.7p/kg, while the R3 steer price improved by 4p/kg to 358.7p/kg.
Last week, the average NI heifer price and R3 heifer price both reported increases of 1.3p/kg to 351.4p/kg and 358.8p/kg, respectively, the LMC explained.
The average NI young bull price last week was up by 3.8p/kg to 340.3p/kg while the R3 young bull price increased by 4.6p/kg to 352p/kg.
The average NI cow price last week increased by 2.5p/kg to 267.7p/kg with the O3 cow price up by 7.5p/kg to 286.1p/kg.
The deadweight trade for prime cattle also continued to strengthen in GB last week. The average steer price increased by 5.5p/kg to 358.1p/kg with the R3 steer price up by 4.5p/kg to 364.7p/kg. The
LMC reported that differential in the R3 steer price between NI and GB widened by half-a-penny to 6p/kg last week.
The average heifer price in GB last week was up by 5.7p/kg to 359.7p/kg while the R3 heifer price increased by 4.2p/kg to 364.9p/kg.
The LMC explained that the differential in R3 heifer prices between NI and GB last week widened by just over 3p/kg to 6.1p/kg when compared to the previous week.