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Prices rise for all grades as supplies tighten

Base prices for U-3 grade cattle have strengthened as anticipated to 330-342p/kg, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), with the majority of plants ranging from 336-342p/kg.

They stated that higher prices are available, and these quotes should be used as a benchmark for negotiation, particularly for cattle meeting market specifications.

“Quotes for good quality O+3 grade cows this week also increased, with quotes ranging from 252-275p/kg across the plants.”

Throughput

Throughput of cattle in factories was also on the rise last week, increasing by 476 animals to 5,323 head of cattle processed.

However, this was 1,676 less than the 6,999 prime cattle processed in local plants during the same week last year.

The number of cows slaughtered was similar to previous weeks at 1,164. This number has decreased in comparison to the same period of 2019 by 256, however.

Prices

As cattle supplies tightened across the country, deadweight prices were on the rise for all types of cattle.

The average steer price was up by 7.5p/kg to 329.3p/kg when compared to the previous week and, similarly, the average heifer price in NI was up by 8.6p/kg to 332.8p/kg with the R3 heifer price up by 7.7p/kg to 340.2p/kg.

Young bulls experienced a price increase of 12.8p/kg, averaging 318.7p/kg. The R3 young bull price was up by 13.4p/kg to 333p/kg, while in the same week in 2019 the R3 young bull price was 330.4p/kg

The average NI cow price last week was up 8.4p/kg to 237.1p/kg, with the O3 cow price up by a similar margin to 257.9p/kg

GB

Tightening cattle supplies have also had an impact on the Great Britain cattle trade, with prices for all grades of cattle strengthening.

LMC reported that the average R3 steer price was 329.9p/kg, up 5.6p/kg from the previous week while the average GB steer price increased by 5.3p/kg to 336.3p/kg.

Heifer prices were also on an upward trajectory, with overall prices rising to 331.5p/kg, with R3 heifers reaching 336.4p/kg, up 6.3p/kg.

Similarly, the O3 cow price in GB last week increased by 8.7p/kg to 255.2p/kg.

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