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LMC: Throughput High as Some Benefit From Exchange Rate

29 January 2013

UK - Throughput numbers are high and Republic of Ireland beef prices showed strong increases in sterling terms following an improvement in the euro/sterling exchange rate, report the Livestock and Meat Commission Northern Ireland.

Deadweight Cattle Trade

Quotes for U-3 grade prime cattle this week ranged from 330- 336p/kg. In general the quotes for steers are 332-334p/kg and quotes for heifers are 334-336p/kg.

The 8p/kg bonus is also available for in spec steers and heifers. Quotes should be treated as a starting point for negotiation as higher prices have been paid than quotes would suggest.

The quotes for cows have remained strong this week with quotes for first quality cows ranging from 265-285p/kg. Similar quotes are expected for Monday morning.

The throughput of prime cattle last week totalled 6,821 head, similar to the corresponding week last year. There have however been reports from some plants of prime cattle numbers getting slightly tighter in recent weeks.

As prices in ROI have improved the number of prime cattle being imported to NI for direct slaughter has declined with 385 head imported last week, well back from the 1,237 imported in the last week of September 2012.

The average steer price in NI last week increased by 3.5p/kg to 333.3p/kg while the average heifer price increased by 1.5p/kg to 335.3p/kg. Meanwhile average steer and heifer prices in GB were almost unchanged from the previous week at 366.4p/kg and 363.6p/kg respectively.

The differential between NI and GB average prices last week was 33.1p/kg for steers and 28.3p/kg for heifers. Steer and heifer prices in Scotland last week were relatively unchanged from the previous week with average steer and heifer prices in Southern England up 1.5p/kg and 3.2p/kg respectively.

In Northern England steer prices last week were back 3.5p/kg to 365.7p/kg with heifer prices back 1p/kg to 362.8p/kg. R3 steer and heifer prices in the region were back by 2-3p/kg to 368.5p/kg and 365.4p/kg respectively. In the Midlands last week the R3 steer price was up 2.5p/kg to 370.8p/kg while the heifer price was up 1.4p/kg to 369.2p/kg.

An improvement in the euro/sterling exchange rate to €1=0.84 in recent weeks has resulted in prime cattle prices in ROI showing strong increases in sterling terms with the R3 steer quote up the equivalent of 6.5p/kg to 334.8p/kg with R3 heifer prices up 7.2p/kg to 349.8p/kg. The average R3 heifer price in ROI last week was 7p/kg higher than corresponding price in NI.

Quotes from the plants early this week for R3 grading hoggets were 315p/kg to 22kgs and increased to 320p/kg to 22kgs as the week progressed. Plants came under some pressure to increase quotes as an increase in the value of the euro against sterling has made ROI buyers more active in NI.

Throughput in the NI plants last week totalled 6,206 head, back 1,132 head on the previous week. Meanwhile exports of hoggets to ROI increased by 1,900 to 13,055 head. The deadweight hogget price in NI last week was 313.9p/kg, back 11p/kg on the previous week.

Meanwhile deadweight prices in ROI were back the equivalent of 3.4p/kg to 330.5p/kg. The differential between NI and ROI deadweight price was 16.6p/kg last week. Deadweight prices in GB were back 5.4p/kg last week to 327.2p/kg but prices were still 13.3p/kg ahead of the NI average price.

Trade across the marts this week was generally improved with 753 hoggets in Ballymena on Wednesday selling to an average of 294p/kg compared to 1,087 last week selling to an average of 282p/kg.

Earlier in the week in Kilrea 530 hoggets sold from 290- 308p/kg (av 296p/kg) compared to 500 last week selling from 270-300p/kg (av 288p/kg).

In Armoy on Tuesday 108 hoggets sold to an average of 298p/kg compared to 238 hoggets last week selling to 294p/kg. Well fleshed cull ewes continue have generally sold in the range of £55-70 with a top reported price of £87 in Kilrea on Monday.

Liveweight Marts

The strong trade for finished prime cattle continued this week with first quality steers selling to an average of 200p/kg. Second quality finished steers sold to an average of 185p/kg, up 9p/kg on last week.

Finished heifers were also an improved trade with first quality selling to 198p/kg (+8p/kg) and second quality to 181p/kg (+9p/kg).The trade for cull cows has remained similar with good quality beef cows selling from 160-216p/kg.

Store cattle continue to be a good trade with first quality bullocks up to 400kg selling to a top price of 216p/kg (av 206p/kg). First quality heifers up to 450kg sold from 180-212p/kg, to an average of 188p/kg.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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