The beef trade is holding steady this week, with plants leaving base quotes unchanged for prime cattle. This keeps U-3 grading animals on a top quote of 378p/kg.
During the same week last year, the cattle trade had bottomed out after the initial downturn caused by COVID-19, with base quotes starting their rise towards current levels.
Current base quotes are 54p/kg above their equivalent value last year, giving a £205 differential on a 380kg steer carcase.
While price deals continue to run well ahead of base quotes, they are also unchanged on previous weeks.
Cattle agents indicate there are more young bulls coming on to the market
This keeps the majority of steers and heifers moving off farm around the 394p to 396p/kg mark, with more regular finishers reporting 398p to 400p/kg on offer at the upper end of the market.
Cattle agents indicate there are more young bulls coming on to the market. Price deals of 390p/kg are on offer for suckler-bred animals meeting market specification on age and carcase weight limit.
The general consensus coming from within the trade is that supplies of finished cattle are increasing and agents are able to secure numbers with greater ease.
In Britain, the beef trade is holding stead
The increase in ration prices and dwindling silage stocks are leading farmers to offload cattle at the earliest opportunity, thereby increasing the availability of stock.
Last week, the average price paid across all grades of cattle fell by 1.58p to 383.09p/kg.
For U3 grading animals, steers slipped by 2.3p to 392.2p/kg, while heifers eased by 1p to 394.4p/kg. Young bulls at the same grade slipped 0.5p to 385.9p/kg.
In Britain, the beef trade is holding steady, although prices in Scotland have eased on recent weeks. Official price reports indicate British R4L steers averaged 418.4p/kg last week, with heifers on 419.2p/kg.
Demand for cull cows is holding firm, with quotes unchanged on 290p/kg for R3 grading animals, while O+3 cows are on 280p/kg. Deals for good-quality cows are still holding around 320p/kg.
NI sheep trade: Lamb and hogget prices recover
After two weeks of downward price pressure, lamb prices have strengthened.
With prices paid in the marts rising, local plants have raised base quotes to 620p/kg for lambs, while 600p/kg is on offer for hoggets.
In Kilrea, lambs made 615p to 724p/kg, up 15p/kg for heavier lots. Lambs at 25kg made £136, with 21.5kg making £129 and 19.5kg making £120.
In Massereene, lambs sold from 580p to 610p/kg, no change on last week.
In Saintfield, lambs sold from 567p to 625p/kg, up 11p/kg on last week. Lambs at 25kg made £138, with 23kg at £135 and 21kg at £130.
In Rathfriland, the trade was strong, with 300 lambs making 590p to 650p/kg. The sale average of 628p/kg was up 28p/kg on last week, with £139 paid for 24kg, £136 for 22kg and £124 for 19.5kg.
The trade for fat ewes has also improved, with well-fleshed lots making great prices.
Kilrea sold to a top of £187, with Massereene selling to £170. In Saintfield, top prices of £168 to £188 were paid, with a big run from £120 to £145. In Rathfriland, top was £190, with the main run selling from £150 to £173.