The deadweight trade for prime cattle held steady in Northern Ireland this week, with base quotes generally ranging from 330-334p/kg for in spec U-3 grading steers and heifers, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).
It noted that quotes for good quality O+3 grading cows have remained steady at 240-250p/kg with reports of a steady demand for cow beef.
“All of the major beef processing plants are continuing to operate as normal, although there are some restrictions in place for those delivering cattle to the plants.”
Plants reported strong supplies of prime cattle coming forward for slaughter with throughput last week totalling 7,153 head – an increase of just over 300 head or 5% from the previous week.
1,953 cows were processed last week. Imports for direct slaughter from ROI last week included 126 prime cattle and 60 cows.
A further 6 prime cattle and 11 cows were imported from GB, while 114 cattle were exported from NI to ROI for direct slaughter last week which included 7 clean cattle, 107 cows and 7 bulls, the LMC added.
No cattle were exported from NI to GB last week for direct slaughter.
The LMC pointed out that the average steer price in NI last week was 332.4p/kg, which was up 1.4p/kg from the previous week.
The R3 steer price increased by a similar margin to 340.3p/kg, while the average heifer price in NI last week was 333.2p/kg, up marginally from the previous week.
The average young bull price was 314.5p/kg, up 4.5p/kg from the previous week. The U3 young bull price was up by a similar margin to 327.7p/kg.
“Deadweight cow prices were generally back from the previous week with an O3 cow price of 258.5p/kg.”
“There has been a mixed deadweight prime cattle trade across GB last week although the trade was generally back from the previous week.”
The average steer price in GB last week was marginally to 335.4p/kg while the R3 steer price was back by half-a-penny to 341.7p/kg.
Steer prices generally improved in Scotland and Southern England and came under pressure in the Midlands and Northern England, the LMC explained.
The average heifer price in GB last week improved by 1p/kg to 337.5p/kg while the R3 heifer price came back by 1.2p/kg to 342.6p/kg.
The deadweight cow trade also recorded some variability across the GB regions last week. Average prices increased in Scotland and the Midlands by 5p/kg and 1.9p/kg, respectively, while they held steady in Northern England and came back by 4.9p/kg in Southern England.
The average cow price in GB last week was 234.3p/kg, 2.9p/kg behind the equivalent price in NI.
“Deadweight cattle prices in ROI held steady in euro terms last week, however, a weakening sterling resulted in all reported prices increasing in sterling terms.”
The LMC commented that the R3 steer price was up by 3p/kg last week to 326.7p/kg, while the R3 heifer price increased by 4p/kg to 332.3p/kg.