There is no change to finished cattle prices as supplies coming on to the market are broadly in line with processing demand.

Official quotes remain on 468p/kg for U-3 grading animals at the upper end of base prices, easing back to 460p/kg at the opposite end of available quotes.

Cattle sold through premium breed schemes, such as Aberdeen Angus, are pinned to these quotes, with bonus payments applying on top of the official base.

For conventional cattle, price deals are on par with last week, which sees most plants working on a starting price of around 484p/kg.

However, the vast majority of in-spec steers and heifers continue to move off farm at prices of 486p to 488p/kg.

Reports indicate there is another 2p to 4p/kg for regular finishers handling good numbers on a weekly arrangement, pushing cattle into the low 490p/kg price range.

Supplies of shed-finished cattle are starting to slow, with some agents indicating they are becoming increasingly reliant on large-scale finishing units to meet throughput.

Mart managers also state farmers with limited bargaining power and are not under movement restrictions continue to move animals through the live ring to avail of higher returns.

Mart prices for U grading cattle meeting age and weight limits are freely making north of 280p/kg, which equates to a deadweight price above 490p/kg.

Last week, the average price paid on steers and heifers of all grades was down 0.23p to 476.51p/kg, with U3 steers back 0.6p to 487.3p/kg.

For heifers at the same grade, prices rose by 0.9p to 488.8p/kg, with young bulls jumping 4.2p to 480.1p/kg.


With a vibrant live trade for cull cows, factory prices continue to harden. Supplies are also tight, underpinning the current trade. Quotes are generally in the region of 360p to 370p/kg for R3 animals, with O+3 cows on 340p to 356p/kg and deals running 10p to 20p/kg above these levels.

NI sheep: strong live trade for lambs continues

Strong demand from buyers working for Irish plants and outlets in Britain continues to underpin lamb prices.

At the top of the market, lambs are making over £180 and hit highs of £204 this week.

To keep pace, plants have increased official quotes to 810p/kg, but 830p/kg is available. The hogget trade is nearing an end, with quotes dropping to 720p/kg.

In Gortin, record prices saw lambs at 30kg making £204, 32.5kg at £202, 28.5kg to £191, with 30kg at £188 and the main run from £164 to £186.

In Kilrea, lambs sold from 784p to 856p/kg, up 15p to 30p/kg, as 21.5kg made £184 and 21kg to £178. Light lambs at 20kg made £161.

In Markethill, lambs made 770p to 827p/kg, with 22kg at £182, 21.5kg at £176 and 21.2kg at £173.50. Heavy lambs averaged £187, with the main run from 730p to 770p/kg.

A superb sale in Saintfield saw lambs make 780p to 860p/kg, up 50p to 65p/kg on last week.

Fat ewes

Fat ewes sold in the marts are still a very good trade. In Gortin, top prices hit £238 and £220, with a run from £170 to £204.

In Kilrea, the top was £206 and, in Markethill, ewes sold from £140 to a top of £188, with plainer types making £90 to £130.

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