As has been the case since early summer, base quotes for prime cattle are holding steady at 394p/kg for U-3 grading animals.

There are some processors working at a lower official quote and using this base rigidly to price cattle processed through breed schemes that offer additional premiums.

For the majority of cattle coming on to the market, farmers report deals above 400p/kg continue to be offered freely.

Price reports on steers are generally in the region of 406p to 410p/kg, with the higher price easier to come by in return for larger numbers or a regular supply.

Heifers are priced at similar levels, although most reports put deals on offer closer to 410p/kg for in-spec animals.

There are a few isolated reports of butcher-type heifers with higher levels of conformation making 2p to 4p/kg more.

Price deals on young bulls are more varied.

Cattle agents indicate there is a relatively good flow of cattle coming on to the market

There are higher-priced deals on offer for suckler-bred animals meeting certain carcase weight specifications.

But, equally, there are reports of bulls being purchased at official base quotes.

Cattle agents indicate there is a relatively good flow of cattle coming on to the market, with order books more or less filled for next week.

Last week, the average price paid across all steers and heifers was static at 396.8p/kg.

Imports of Irish cattle for direct slaughter at local plants totalled 164

For U3 grading animals, steers recorded a moderate increase of 0.3p/kg to average 407.4p/kg, while heifers rose by 1.7p to 410.2p/kg.

Imports of Irish cattle for direct slaughter at local plants totalled 164, with no cattle crossing the Irish Sea to Britain for processing.


While base quotes on cull cows are steady, there is plenty of life in the trade for good-quality cows.

Quotes for R3 animals remain on 290p/kg, but this is 20p to 30p/kg below what is being offered to farmers.

Most reports put good beef-bred cows on 320p/kg, with higher-priced deals available for animals with higher conformation.

NI sheep: base quotes under pressure

Factory and mart prices for fat hoggets are in retreat this week. Base quotes have slipped to 545p/kg, making a hogget worth £119.90 at the 22kg deadweight limit.

Kilrea had a small show of 350 hoggets making 500p to 523p/kg, down 30p/kg for lighter animals.

Massereene had 642 hoggets which made 490p to 522p/kg, down by 10p/kg for heavier hoggets.

The trade in Saintfield was easier, with 505 lambs making from 475p to 554p/kg, down 13p/kg for heavier hoggets. Heavy hoggets at 30kg made £121 to £125, 25kg sold from £115 to £118, with 24kg selling to £114. Hoggets at 22kg made to £109. Stores at 19kg made £99, with 17kg making £90.

In Rathfriland, a small show of 300 hoggets sold from 475p to 551p/kg, with the sale average of 505p/kg down 21p/kg on last week.

In Ballymena, hoggets at 25.5kg sold to £121, with 21kg selling to £110.


While hoggets are under pressure, fat ewes remain a firm trade. In Kilrea, ewes sold to £194 and to £160 in Massereene. In Saintfield, the top was £190 with a big run from £122 to £184. In Rathfriland the top price was £188.

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