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LMC: Prime Cattle Quotes Rise With Pre-Christmas Demand

26 November 2012

Deadweight Cattle Trade

The quotes from the plants for prime cattle this week have continued to rise as demand for beef increases in the run up to Christmas. Base quotes of 322-324p/kg were available for steers with quotes of 324-326p/kg available for heifers.

Reports from producers have indicated that in some cases deals have been done for in spec animals at higher prices than quotes would suggest. Many plants have been reporting a tightening in the availability of prime cattle. The throughput of prime cattle last week was 6,711 head, up 150 head on the previous week and similar to the same week last year.

The cow kill last week totalled 2,714 head with quotes for first quality cows remaining in the range of 260-275p/kg.

Imports of prime cattle for direct slaughter from ROI last week totalled 788 head, the lowest level of imports since mid August. In addition to this 305 cows were imported from ROI for direct slaughter, 70 head more than the previous week.

GB Exports

Meanwhile exports of cattle to GB for direct slaughter totalled 237 head, taking exports to GB for direct slaughter for the year to date to almost 7,500 head.

The average steer price in NI last week increased by 3.1p/kg to 319.3p/kg while the average heifer price increased by 3.5p/kg to 321.5p/kg.

Scotland

With the GB average steer and heifer prices also increasing in the region of 3.5p/kg last week the differential between NI and GB has remained at similar levels to the previous week.

The prices paid for cattle generally increased across all the regions last week with the R3 steer price in Scotland increasing by 2.9p/kg to 363.9p/kg while the R3 heifer price in the region increased by 5.2p/kg to 362.7p/kg.

England

Increases in the R3 steer and heifer prices in Northern England and the Midlands were in the region of 3-4p/kg with average prices up by a similar amount. R3 steer price in southern England increased by 8.1p/kg to 355.6p/kg while the heifer price increased by 2p/kg to 350.9p/kg.

Prices paid for cattle in ROI last week increased in euro terms and a slight strengthening in the value of euro against sterling improved it further in sterling terms. The R3 steer and heifer prices increased in the region of 5p/kg to 303.6p/kg and 316.9p/kg respectively.

Week's Marts

w/e 17/11/12

The trade for finished cattle in the marts this week was generally similar to last week with first quality steers and heifers selling within a similar range.

The average price for first quality steers was 190p/kg while first quality heifers sold to an average of 196p/kg. The trade for cull cows has remained strong with beef cows selling to a top of 200p/kg and dairy cows selling to a top of 134p/kg.

The trade for store cattle has showed a slight improvement on the previous week with 400-500kg first quality bullocks selling from 190- 212p/kg (180-205p/kg last week).

Meanwhile bullocks over 500kg sold to an average of 200p/kg compared to an average of 190p/kg last week while first quality heifers over 450kg sold to an average of 191p/kg compared to 181p/kg last week.

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