NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - Cattle supplies were steady to Northern Irish plants with throughput over 5000 head back on the same week last year, the Livestock and Meat Commission has reported in its weekly Bulletin.
Quotes from the meat plants this week ranged from 318-322p/kg for U-3 grade prime cattle with similar quotes expected for next week.
The processors are reporting steady supplies of cattle to meet demand. Quotes for O+3 grade cows this week ranged from 245-256p/kg.
Throughput of prime cattle in the NI plants last week totalled 5,250 head, an increase of 485 from the previous week when 4,765 prime cattle were slaughtered.
Prime cattle throughput for July 2014 totalled 22,277 head compared to 27,667 prime cattle slaughtered in July 2013.
This decline by 5,390 head accounts for a 20 per cent drop in throughput year on year. There have also been key changes to the make up of the prime cattle kill.
In July 2013 39.4 per cent of the prime kill were steers and this increased to 45.6 per cent in July 2014. The proportion of heifers in the prime kill also increased, up from 34.8 per cent in July 2013 to 35.7 per cent in July 2014.
The most notable change has been in the proportion of young bulls in the slaughter mix. In July 2014 18.7 per cent of the prime kill were young bulls compared to 25.8 per cent in July 2013.
Imports of prime cattle from ROI for direct slaughter in NI plants last week totalled 580 head, the highest weekly import since early November 2013. In addition 78 prime cattle were imported from GB for direct slaughter in NI plants last week.
A total of 61 prime cattle were exported from NI to GB last week for direct slaughter bringing the total for the year to date to 3,901 head.
This is 41 per cent lower than the corresponding period on 2013 when 6,597 prime cattle were exported.
The average steer price in NI last week increased by 1p/kg to 314.5p/kg while the R3 steer price increased slightly to 323.7p/kg.
The quoted price for R-3 steers last week was 312-314p/kg and the average price paid for R-3 steers was 320.8p/kg indicating that there is some room for negotiation on the prices offered.
The R3 heifer price in NI last week increased by 1p/kg to 327.3p/kg while the average heifer price remained steady at 319.7p/kg.
In GB last week the average steer price was up by 2p/kg to 330.3p/kg with increases of 2-4p/kg recorded in Scotland, Northern England and Southern England while in the Midlands the average steer price was back by 2.9p/kg to 313.7p/kg.
A similar trend can be observed in R3 steer prices across the GB regions with the average R3 price in GB last week up 1.3p/kg to 336.3p/kg. Meanwhile average heifer prices were back by 1-2p/kg in all of the GB regions last week with the exception of Scotland where they were up by 1.7p/kg to 348.3p/kg.
The deadweight cattle trade has shown signs of stabilising in ROI with R3 steer and heifer prices within half a penny of the previous week at 289.7p/kg and 295.7p/kg respectively.TheCattleSite News Desk