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Base Quotes Reach Record High

13 March 2013

UK - Base quotes from the plants for U-3 grade prime cattle reached record levels late this week with several plants quoting 360p/kg for both steers and heifers, write market analysts at Livestock and Meat Commission Northern Ireland. This is an increase of 12p/kg from the top quote of 348p/kg last week.


In the corresponding week in 2012 the top quote for U-3 steers and heifers from the plants was 326p/kg.

Quotes for prime cattle this week range from 356-360p/kg with the additional 8p/kg bonus also available for in spec animals. The deadweight trade for cows has also shown an improvement with
plants quoting 275-300p/kg for O+3 grading cows.


Producers should shop around to ensure that they get the best possible deal for all finished cattle. Plants have reported a tightening in the availability of cattle this week with strong competition between the plants for in spec steers and heifers in particular.

Prime cattle slaughterings in NI last week were similar to the previous week with a total of 6,561 head slaughtered. However cow slaughterings in NI last week totalled 1,268 head, a 22 per cent reduction on the previous week when 1,631 head were slaughtered.

With increased penalties for non farm quality assured cattle at plants there has been a notable increase in the number of cows being exported to ROI for direct slaughter. For the year to date 1,860 cows have been exported to ROI plants for direct slaughter, a 38.8 per cent increase on the same period in 2012.

Exports of prime cattle to ROI also showed a notable increase last week with 151 head exported compared to 61 head the previous week. A total of 311 cattle were also exported to GB last week for direct slaughter.


The improving deadweight trade resulted in the average steer price in NI last week increasing by 6.1p/kg to 345.8p/kg while the average heifer price increased by 6.7p/kg to 351.4p/kg. The R3 steer and heifer prices in the region increased by similar margins to 353.4p/kg and 357.8p/kg respectively.


An improvement in the trade has also been reported in GB with reports of reduced availability of prime cattle. Average steer prices in GB were up 3.4p/kg to 374.1p/kg while average heifer prices increased by 4p/kg to 372.0p/kg.

While all regions showed an increase in average steer and heifer prices the strongest increases were recorded in Scotland and Northern England. In Scotland the average steer price increased by
5p/kg to 379.9p/kg while the heifer price increased by 2.8p/kg to 375.7p/kg.

Meanwhile in Northern England the average steer price increased by 4.9p/kg to 377.0p/kg while the heifer price increased by 6.5p/kg to 374.9p/kg.

Prime cattle deadweight prices in ROI last week increased in the region of 2-3p/kg for the majority of reported grades with the euro continuing to remain strong against sterling.

The average exchange rate last week was €1=86.68p. The R3 steer price in ROI last week was 352.7p/kg (+2.6p/kg) while the R3 heifer price was 367.9p/kg (+2.3p/kg). The R3 heifer price in ROI was 10.1p/kg higher than the R3 heifer price in NI last week.


TheMeatSite News Desk

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