Growing demand for beef in Britain and higher finished cattle prices have seen more cattle moving from NI to feedlots in Scotland and England.

Data compiled by the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) shows that during March, 685 cattle were shipped to farms in Britain for further feeding, putting monthly live exports at their highest level since May 2019.

Back in February, just 181 local cattle moved to Britain, and in January, when beef prices were similar either side of the Irish Sea, it was just 43.

While the numbers are small in relation to the monthly prime cattle kill, local mart managers report that buyers exporting live cattle are still extremely active for quality stores in local rings.

Out of the 685 cattle exported in March, 485 were steers, and 200 were heifers.


Finished cattle prices in Britain have surged ahead of those on offer at local plants since mid-March. A 30p/kg differential now exits on U grading animals, with prices at local plants in the mid 390p/kg range. This difference is currently worth £114 on a 380kg steer carcase.

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