Beef prices are unchanged this week, as factory closures over the Easter weekend made it easier for agents to secure numbers.

Processing demand and cattle supplies are generally in balance, keeping the trade on a solid footing.

Official quotes remain on 460p/kg at the upper end of the market for U-3 animals, while other plants are working on a lower base of 454p/kg.

Cattle sold through premium breed schemes, such as Aberdeen Angus, are moving at the outlined quotes.

Once bonus payments are applied, it brings theses cattle into line with prices on animals sold into conventional beef markets.

Most reports put opening prices for steers and heifers at 480p/kg.

Farmers with a steady supply of in-spec animals report deals of 482p to 486p/kg on offer, with the higher prices easier to come by where bigger number can be supplied.

Good-quality butcher heifers are trading from 486p/kg to 490p/kg for regular finishers, with agents showing plenty of appetite for numbers.

Young bulls are a mixed trade and, as has been the case throughout the spring, there is a two-tier approach to pricing.

There are farmers killing young bulls on a regular arrangement, which meet certain criteria on age, conformation and carcase weight. Such animals are securing prices on par with steers.

Equally, there are plenty of reports of bulls on deals closer to 470p/kg, often from farmers with limited negotiating power or where animals fall outside of retail specification.

Prices for U3 steers averaged 483.5p/kg over the first quarter of 2024, up from 476.3p/kg for the same period last year. Heifers averaged 484.5p/kg in 2024, up from 477.3p/kg last year.


The trade for cull cows is also steady, with plants working on a starting price in the region of 350p/kg for R grading animals.

Older cows are being pinned close to this base, but where young lots are available, prices are in the region of 370p/kg.

NI sheep: Ramadan keeps floor under hoggets

The hogget trade remains strong after the Easter break, with heavy lots making £175 to £185. Spring lambs are selling well, with shows selling to £250 and £214.

Plants are holding quotes at 690p/kg, but deals of 710p/kg are freely available. No quotes are available on spring lambs, but 780p/kg to 21kg deadweight is available.

Gortin sold heavy spring lambs at 29kg to £250, with 27.5kg at £214 and 31.5kg at £184. Lighter lambs made £142 to £144 for 21.5kg and 22kg.

In Kilrea, spring lambs sold to £200 for 23.5kg and £204 for 24.5kg. A big run of lambs and hoggets made £173 to £184 for 21.5kg to 23.5kg.

In Ballymena, trade was solid. Hoggets at 33.5kg made £190, 29kg at £184.40, 27kg at £183.50 and 25kg making £185. Lighter hoggets at 23kg and 21.5kg made £175.


The strong trade for fat ewes in the live ring continues.

In Gortin, top price was £300, with £250 the next best and a big run from £162 to £244. In Kilrea, ewes topped £276.

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No change to beef quotes

Sheep price update: trade resuming after Easter on solid footing