Base quotes on prime cattle are holding around 392p to 394p/kg for U-3 grading animals as processing demand remains firm.
This week will see local plants reaching the end of their Christmas kill schedules. But with sales of beef extremely strong in the retail and food service sectors, there are indications that demand for cattle will continue at current levels.
There are also signs that supplies of cattle could begin to tighten next month following exceptionally high levels of factory throughput this autumn.
Cattle supplies are already tightening south of the border and factories have moved to source additional animals in marts to maintain throughput.
Closer to home, deals on cattle processed at local plants remain similar to previous weeks
In Britain, the availability of finished cattle is also on the turn. Deadweight prices have responded, with prime animals rising by 2p to 4p/kg, putting U grading animals on 425p to 430p/kg this week.
Closer to home, deals on cattle processed at local plants remain similar to previous weeks. This keep steers moving off farm from 400p to 404p/kg, with higher prices reserved for larger finishers.
Last week, the average price paid across all grades of steers and heifers eased by 0.5p to 393.08p/kg
Heifers are a much easier sell and deals of 408p to 410p/kg remain on offer for in-spec animals and to finishers with bigger numbers to offload.
Young bulls are being purchased at official base prices, although some plants are matching steer price for in-spec animals.
Last week, the average price paid across all grades of steers and heifers eased by 0.5p to 393.08p/kg. U3 steers fell 0.4p to 403.2p/kg, whereas heifers at the same grade increased by 1.1p to 408.6p/kg.
The weekly kill totalled 10,577 head, of which 7,420 were prime animals and 2,881 were cull cows. Imports of Irish cattle for direct slaughter at local plants almost doubled to 496 head. Exports from NI to Britain totalled 34.
Demand for cull cows is varied as processors prioritise prime cattle. Quotes for R3 animals are 290p/kg with O+3 animals on 280p/kg. However, most reports on good quality cows start around 320p/kg.
NI sheep: plants move to cap lamb prices
The trade for fat lambs in the live ring has eased by £2 to £4 this week. Local plants have moved to cut quotes to 550p/kg, making a lamb worth £121 at the 22kg weight limit.
In Kilrea, 820 lambs sold from 538p to 584p/kg, up 28p/kg for heavier lots.
In Massereene, a small show of 510 lambs sold from 500p to 541p/kg, with prices down by £2 or £3 on last week.
Saintfield sold 675 lambs from 498p to 561p/kg, down 20p/kg for heavier lots or £2 to £4. Heavy lambs at 30kg sold to £129, with 25kg selling to £124. Lambs at 24kg sold to £120, 23kg to £117.50 and stores at 18kg making £101, down by £4 on last week.
In Rathfriland, 612 lambs averaged 520p/kg, down 22p/kg on last week.
In Ballymena, big pens at 24.5kg made £121, with 22.5kg at £119, 21.5kg at £112 and 20kg to £109.50.
In contrast, the trade for fat ewes is holding firm. In Saintfield, ewes sold to another record price of £223, with the main run from £120 to £193. In Rathfriland, top price was £208, with most ewes making £140 to £180.