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Beef Market Firmer Last Week

14 January 2014

UK - Livestock and Meat Commission analysts have reported firmer markets in Northern Ireland over the last week.

Deadweight Cattle Trade

All the plants quoted a base price of 344-346p/kg for U-3 grade prime cattle, stated LMC markets experts. 

Additional bonuses of 8-14p/kg are available for in spec steers and heifers and producers should consult with the individual plants as criteria varies from plant to plant. The plants are reporting a slight tightening in the supply of prime cattle for the weeks ahead.

Quotes for O+3 cows this week ranged from 225-244p/kg across the plants. Throughput of prime cattle last week totalled 5,333 head compared to 5,661 head during the corresponding week last year.

Imports from ROI for direct slaughter in NI factories last week consisted of 163 steers while 35 cows were also imported from GB. Exports to GB for direct slaughter were made up of 93 prime cattle and 6 cows with a further 64 prime cattle and 166 cows exported to ROI for direct slaughter.

The average steer price in NI last week was 357.6p/kg, up 2.5p/kg from the previous week, while the R3 steer price was back by 1.4p/kg to 364.2p/kg. The R4 steer price was unchanged at 367.0p/kg. The average heifer price in NI last week was 359.7p/kg, back 1.7p/kg from the previous week with the R3 heifer price back by a similar margin to 364.6p/kg. The R4 heifer price remained steady at 362.5p/kg.

In GB last week the average steer price was back by 2.5p/kg to 384.2p/kg with average prices back in all the GB regions with the exception of Southern England where the average price increased by 4.7p/kg to 369.4p/kg.

The average heifer price in GB last week was back a penny from the previous week to 384.5p/kg with the average R3 heifer price back by a similar margin to 384.8p/kg. There was some variation across the regions with the R3 heifer price in Scotland back by 5p/kg to 398.7p/kg while it increased in Southern England by 5.5p/kg to 375.8p/kg.

The differential between NI and Southern England for R3  heifers last week was 11.2p/kg and for R3 steers it was 15.4p/kg with the gap widening further moving northwards. The differential however between NI and Southern England is notably narrower than it was during the corresponding week last year when the differential was 22p/kg for heifers and 32p/kg for steers.

In ROI the trade for finished cattle has remained subdued with average prices back for the majority of reported grades. The R3 steer price was back 4.7p/kg to 323p/kg while the R3 heifer price was back by 5.6p/kg to 337.2p/kg. This put the differential with NI last week at 41.2p/kg for R3 steers and 27.4p/kg for R3 heifers.

This Weeks’ Marts

Finished first quality steers sold to an average of 215p/kg this week with second quality selling to an average of 180p/kg. Finished heifers meanwhile sold to an average of 207p/kg for first quality and
175p/kg for second quality.

First quality beef cows sold to an average of 168p/kg with a top reported price of 184p/kg. Plainer beef type cows sold to an average of 123p/kg. Dairy origin cows sold from 42-114p/kg depending on quality. Forward steers in the 400-500kg weight category sold to an average of 201p/kg while second quality sold to an average of 150p/kg

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