Processing demand for finished cattle is holding firm, keeping price deals at similar levels to previous weeks.

That said, there has been a small increase in base prices, with some plants adding 2p/kg to official quotes, bringing quotes to 466p/kg at the upper end of the market for U-3 animals.

At the opposite end of quotes, some plants are working on 456p/kg.

Official quotes are being rigidly enforced where farmers are offloading cattle such as Aberdeen Angus animals, where bonus payments apply on top of the outlined base prices.

Elsewhere, the main run of conventional cattle are on a starting price of 480p/kg and there are some animals moving at this level.

However, most reports indicate 482p to 484p/kg is on offer for in-spec steers and heifers, with plenty of cattle being bought at these prices.

At the upper end of the market, there are reports of farmers selling cattle on a weekly arrangement securing deals of 486p to 490p/kg in return for bigger numbers.

Young bulls continue to move off farm around 470p to 472p/kg, although there are deals on offer to regular finishers which are on par to steer prices.

However, bulls have to meet certain requirements on age, carcase weight and conformation to avail of these prices.

Cattle supplies are closely aligned to processing demand and most reports indicate that farmers face a waiting period of one week from booking animals for slaughter until cattle move off farm.

Last week, the average price paid on steers and heifers of all grades eased by 1.8p to 470.7p/kg. On U3 animals, steers were unchanged at 483.4p/kg, with heifers marginally lower at 484.5p/kg, while young bulls rose by 1.1p to 472.5p/kg.


Cull cows are also a firm trade, but quotes are steady, with 350p/kg on R3 animals and 340p/kg for O+3 cows. Deals for good sucklers start at 360p/kg and rise to 390p/kg depending on quality.

NI sheep: record prices for lambs

Hoggets and spring lambs are in demand, pushing prices to record highs. Hoggets topped £252 this week with spring lambs to £194.50.

To keep pace, plants increased hogget quotes by 60p to 760p/kg, making a hogget worth £174.80 at 23kg deadweight, but deals closer to 800p are available at a push.

Spring lambs are on quotes of 800p and 820p/kg, but more is on offer in the live ring.

An outstanding trade in Gortin saw 28kg hoggets make £220, 33kg at £210 and 28.5kg at £209, with the main run from £166 to £202. Lambs made £164 for 21.5kg and £163.50 for 22kg.

The trade in Kilrea was through the roof. Hoggets sold from 740p to 816p/kg, up 50p to 80p/kg with 25kg at £204, 24kg at £190 and 21kg at £164.50.

Spring lambs sold from 786p to 869p/kg, with 21kg at £182.50, 23kg at £187 and 24kg at £194.50.

Markethill saw record prices. Heavy hoggets made to £216 followed by £210, £191 and £190. Spring lambs sold from 760p to 879p/kg, up 106p/kg on last week, with 22.7kg at £184.

Record breaking prices in Saintfield saw hoggets and lambs selling from 690p to 809p/kg, up 80p/kg on last week, with £252 for 35kg, £230 for 32kg, £218 for 30kg, with a big run on £170 to £203. Lambs at 23kg made £179 and 22kg to £178.

In Ballymena, hoggets at 32kg made £209, 31.5kg making £199 and lambs at 21kg to £180.


In Gortin, ewes topped £240 and £242 in Kilrea. Markethill sold from £140 to £198. Saintfield topped £238, with a run from £170 to £230.

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