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HomeBeefMajor decline in number of southern cattle moving north for slaughter
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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Major decline in number of southern cattle moving north for slaughter

Base quotes for-in spec U-3 grade prime cattle ranged from 354- 360p/kg across plants in Northern Ireland this week, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

Most of the major plants were quoting towards the upper end of this range.

“Quotes for good quality O+3 grading cows have held steady at 260-280p/kg this week. Similar quotes for all types of cattle are expected for early next week.”


According to the LMC, plants have reported good supplies of cattle for slaughter with prime cattle throughput last week totalling 7,120 head. 2,440 cows were also processed in local plants.

Both prime cattle and cow throughput last week was similar to the previous week; however, they are trending below the same period last year.

Southern cattle

“There was a notable decline in the number of prime cattle imported from ROI for direct slaughter in NI last week to 133 head. This was down 249 head from the previous week and the lowest level of weekly import recorded since late April this year.”

Cow imports from ROI also declined last week to just 92 head which is the lowest level of weekly import recorded since late May this year.

Cattle exports to ROI for direct slaughter have continued at the relatively low levels recorded during previous weeks while there were no cattle exported to GB for direct slaughter last week.


The deadweight trade for prime cattle in NI has held steady with the majority of reported steer and heifer prices last week within half-a-penny of the previous week.

The R3 steer price in NI last week was up marginally to 367.1p/kg with the average steer price also up slightly to 358.9p/kg.

The R3 heifer price was back marginally to 367.8p/kg while the average heifer price was up half a penny to 361.6p/kg.

The trade, the LMC added, has improved for the small number of young bulls passing through local plants with the U3 price up 2p/kg to 362.7p/kg and the R3 price up 3.5p/kg to 359.9p/kg last week.

The cow trade also improved in NI last week with the average price up by almost 3p/kg to 249.2p/kg.

NI had the highest O3 cow price in the UK last week at 278.6p/kg, it noted.


“In GB last week, there was some variability recorded in the performance of deadweight prices across the regions.”

The R3 steer price in GB last week was up by 1.8p/kg to 376.7p/kg, driven by 3p/kg increases in both Scotland and Northern England and a 0.6p/kg increase in the Midlands.

Meanwhile, the R3 steer price in Southern England came back by 1.8p/kg to 367.9p/kg.

The R3 heifer price in GB last week was up almost a penny to 374.5p/kg. While there was a 2p/kg increase in the R3 heifer price in Southern England to 368.6p/kg reported, prices in all other GB regions were within a penny of the previous week.

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