The beef trade is holding firm this week, as base quotes level off at 398p/kg for U-3 grading animals, although some plants are working from a base of 392p/kg.

Processing demand remains robust across all classes of cattle and there are deals to be had in return for a steady supply of animals.

Factory agents report they are getting adequate numbers and are almost fully booked for next week.

In contrast, some farmers report that agents are in regular contact to enquire after stock or to request animals be brought forward and processed at an earlier date than initially agreed.

Steers continue to move off farm at 408p to 410p/kg for in-spec animals, with 412p/kg being paid for regular sellers. Prices above this are generally confined to specialist finishers on a regular kill arrangement.

Last week, the average price paid across all grades of steers and heifers rose by 1.14p/kg to average 399p/kg

Heifers are also moving at 410p/kg, but, as in previous weeks, there is 2p to 4p/kg extra on offer for regular finishers or farmers with a good supply of in-spec animals.

Farmers offloading young bulls are reporting greater appetite from factory agents, although prices continue to fall in line with base quotes outlined.

Last week, the average price paid across all grades of steers and heifers rose by 1.14p/kg to average 399p/kg.

On U3 grading animals, steers slipped by 2.1p/kg to an average of 409p/kg. Heifers at the same grade gained 2p/kg and averaged 412.8p/kg, while young bulls jumped by 9p/kg to an average 398.9p/kg.

Imports of Irish cattle for direct slaughter at local plants totalled 271 head, a drop of 90 animals on the previous week.


Base quotes on cull cows have steadied on 310p/kg for R3 animals, with O+3 animals on 300p/kg.

However, deals continue to run well ahead of quotes.

Most farmers indicate good beef cows are opening at 320p/kg and prices increase in line with quality, as reflected in official price reports, as R3 cows rose 6p/kg to average 328.7p/kg last week.

NI sheep: processors move to ease prices

Demand for factory fit hoggets has eased in the live ring this week, causing a slight dip in price.

Factories have moved to lower quotes by 10p/kg to 540p/kg, making a hogget worth £118.80 at the 22kg deadweight limit.

Kilrea sold 400 hoggets from 497p to 518p/kg, down by 13p/kg on last week.

Massereene had a show of 706 hoggets which made 485p to 517p/kg. Top price for 25.5kg was £124, 23kg at £119 and 22.5kg made £115.5.

Saintfield sold 555 hoggets from 497p to 518p/kg, down 23p/kg for lighter sorts. Heavy hoggets made £120 to £123, 24kg made £116, with 22kg at £108.

In Ballymena, 30kg made £123, 25kg made £121, 24kg made £117 with 20kg at £104.


Fat ewes remain a strong trade, with Kilrea selling fleshed lots to £142. In Massereene, ewes topped £180 for Texels, Bleu at £140, Suffolks to £130 and Border Leicesters at £120. In Saintfield, top price was £162, with the main run from £105 to £150.

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