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Steady Trade Across Deadweight and Liveweight Markets

27 August 2013

UK - Steady supplies seem to be maintaining level prices in Northern Ireland, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission.

Deadweight Cattle Trade

Quotes from the plants this week for U-3 grade prime cattle have steadied at 350p/kg for steers and 350-352p/kg for heifers, write market analysts at the Livestock and Meat Commission. 

Quotes for cows this week were 270-280p/kg. Similar quotes are expected for early next week. The plants are reporting steady supplies of both prime cattle and cows to meet demand. Prime cattle through put in the plants last week increased slightly on the previous week to 5,897 head with 1,959 cows also slaughtered, say LMC experts. 

Exports of prime cattle for slaughter in GB plants last week totalled 248 head with 42 cows also exported. Exports for slaughter in ROI plants last week consisted of 14 prime cattle and 83 cows.

The average steer price in NI last week came back by 7p/kg to 358.3p/kg while the average heifer price was back 10p/kg to 360.4p/kg. However it does appear that some relatively high prices continued to be paid, in particular for R3 and R4 steers.

In GB prices have been under pressure with average steer prices last week back 3.4p/kg to 387p/kg and average heifer prices back 2.2p/kg to 385.0p/kg. Average steer prices were back across all of the GB regions by3-5p/kg with the exception of Scotland where average prices were unchanged.

NI R3/R4/O3 steer prices were on a par with the corresponding prices in Southern England but lower than prices paid in other GB regions.

The average cow price in NI last week came back 9p/kg to 265.3p/kg but still remains strong in comparison to GB prices. NI cow prices (by grade) were the highest in the British Isles last week. The O3 cow price in NI last week was 287.6p/kg compared to an average GB price of 273.4p/kg.

There have been reports of a tightening in the supply of cattle in ROI with a strong demand in particular reported for in spec quality assured steers and heifers with carcase weights of 300-360kg.

The R3 steer price in ROI last week was back 1p/kg on the previous week at 347.9p/kg but remains markedly behind the equivalent NI price (- 21.9p/kg). Meanwhile the R3 heifer price was back 3.1p/kg to 358.1p/kg, 9.2p/kg behind the NI price last week.

Liveweight Cattle Trade

A steady trade has been reported this week with finished first quality steers selling to an average of 218p/kg liveweight compared to an average of 210p/kg last week.

Meanwhile second quality finished steers sold to an average of 195p/kg (+10p/kg). A firm trade for finished heifers saw first quality selling to an average of 215p/kg compared to an average of 206p/kg lastweek.

Second quality finished heifers sold from 170-200p/kg (av 185p/kg) compared to 165-194p/kg (av 180p/kg) last week. Beef cows sold to a top price of 199p/kg this week with first quality selling to an average of 170p/kg. Dairy cows sold from 80-134p/kg depending on quality.

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