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LMC:Base Quotes Remain Steady Despite Horsemeat Fears

21 January 2013

Deadweight Cattle Trade

Base quotes from the plants this week for U-3 grade prime cattle range from 330-336p/kg. Two plants are quoting 330p/kg for steers with the remainder quoting 332-334p/kg while 332- 336p/kg is being quoted for heifers.

There have been some concerns that the recent incident involving horse and pig DNA found in beef products could have affected trade for beef but base quotes remained steady and actually increased to 336p/kg mid week. The quotes for cows have also increased and are now within the range of 260- 285p/kg for good quality cows.

The prime kill last week totalled 6,769 head, an increase of 1,100 head on the previous week and 470 head more than the corresponding week in 2012. Meanwhile the cow kill last week totalled 2,199 head, an increase of 515 head on the previous week.

The average steer price in NI last week was up slightly to 329.8p/kg while the average heifer price was back slightly at 333.8p/kg. The average U-3 heifer price last week was 346.2p/kg.

If we assume the heifers were all paid at the quote of 334p/kg and all received the 8p/kg bonus then average prices are still 4.2p/kg above what the quoted price would suggest. Producers should keep this in mind when negotiating a price with processors.

Trade across the other GB regions last week was generally back on the previous week with GB average R3 steer and heifer prices back in the region of 1.5p/kg to 369.2p/kg and 366.8p/kg respectively. The differential between NI and GB R3 prices last week was 29.2p/kg for steers and 24.1p/kg for heifers. Meanwhile the GB average price for young bulls last week was back 2p/kg to 342.1p/kg, 21.2p/kg higher than the average price in NI.

Prices in ROI last week showed an improvement on the previous week with the all reported grades of prime cattle showing an increase in sterling terms. The R3 steer price increased by the equivalent of 5.1p/kg to 328.3p/kg while the R3 heifer price increased by 4.8p/kg to 342.6p/kg.

The R3 steer price in ROI last week was 12p/kg behind the NI price while the R3 heifer prices in NI and ROI were within a fraction of a penny of each other.

Live Trade

The trade for finished cattle has remained firm across the marts with first quality steers selling from 191-213p/kg (av 197p/kg) compared to a price range last week of 190-216p/kg (av 199p/kg).

The trade for second quality steers was also similar to last week with lots selling to an average of 176p/kg. A similar trend can be observed for finished heifers across the marts.

Store cattle continue to be a good trade with bullocks up to 400kg selling to an average of 202p/kg, with second quality animals in the same weight range selling to 180p/kg. Heifers up to 450kg sold to a top of 195p/kg with first quality heifers selling to an average of 187p/kg.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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