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LMC: Weekly Beef and Lamb Markets

17 January 2013

UK - U-3 grade heifers averaged 346p/kg last week as reports have indicated falling prime beef throughput in plants, report market experts at the Livestock and Meat Commission.

Quotes from the plants this week for U-3 grade prime cattle are 328-334p/kg with the majority of plants are quoting 330- 332p/kg for steers and 332-334p/kg for heifers.

There are however reports of higher base quotes being available, especially for in spec cattle. The average price paid for U-3 grade heifers last week was 346p/kg.

Assuming that all of these heifers qualified for the 8p/kg bonus, which is unlikely, the average price paid was still 6p/kg higher than last week’s highest base quote for heifers of 332p/kg would suggest.

Reports from the plants have indicated that prime cattle numbers have started to tighten slightly with throughput in the plants last week totalling 5,661 head.

A total of 409 prime cattle were imported from ROI last week for direct slaughter. This is well below the level of imports seen late in 2012 and accounted for 7.2 per cent of the total prime kill. Meanwhile a total of 233 cattle were exported out of NI last week for direct slaughter with 121 head exported to GB and 112 head exported to ROI.

The average steer price in NI last week was down 3.2p/kg to 329.2p/kg while the heifer price was back 1.8p/kg to 334.3p/kg. In the same week last year average steer and heifer prices in NI were 321.9p/kg and 322p/kg respectively.

Meanwhile in GB the average steer price last week was up 2.1p/kg to 368.5p/kg while the heifer price was back 2.7p/kg to 364.6p/kg.

This change was fairly indicative of trade across the regions with the majority of regions showing an increase in average steer prices and a decline in average heifer prices.

Despite the average heifer prices being back in the majority of GB regions the R3 heifer price increased by 1.4p/kg 368.3p/kg last week. The R3 steer price meanwhile increased by 1.6p/kg to 370.8p/kg.

The price differential between NI and the average GB price for R3 grade steers last week was 32.8p/kg. For R3 heifers the differential last week was 26.2p/kg.

The R3 steer price in ROI last week increased by 1.7p/kg in sterling terms to 323.2p/kg while the heifer price was back 1.2p/kg to 337.8p/kg.

This Week's Marts

This Week's Marts

Finished first quality steers sold to an average of 199p/kg this week with second quality finished steers selling to an average of 177p/kg.

Meanwhile first quality heifers sold in the range of 184- 207p/kg (avg 192p/kg) with second quality lots selling from 160-183p/kg (avg 171p/kg).

The strong trade for cull cows has continued with well fleshed first quality continental type cows selling to a top of 182p/kg (avg 163p/kg). First quality dairy type cows sold to an average of 125p/kg with second quality selling to an average of 97p/kg.

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