LMC: Steer Prices Back Slightly, Late July

UK - Average steer prices were back last week across Britain, although Scottish beef stayed level with the previous week, reports the market analyst team at the Livestock and Meat Commission Northern Ireland.
calendar icon 6 August 2013
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Deadweight Cattle Trade

The base quotes from the plants for U-3 grade prime cattle this week were 364-370p/kg with the 8p/kg bonus available for in spec steers and heifers. The plants are quoting 360-362p/kg for Monday and have indicated that sales are difficult, write LMC experts.

However, with reports of prime cattle being tight on the ground producers should be shopping around to ensure they get the best deal available. Quotes for good quality cows range from 290-310p/kg across the plants.

Throughput of prime cattle in the NI plants lastweek totalled 5,318 head bringing slaughterings for July 2013 to 22,211. this is 286 head less than the throughput the corresponding month last year (-1.3 per cent).

Prime cattle carcases during July 2013 averaged 321.7kg, a 21.1kg reduction on the average carcase weight the previous July when it was 342.8kg. this represents a 6.1 per cent decline in average carcase weights.


Meanwhile cow throughput for July 2013 in the NI plants was 6,595 head, a 9.8 per cent reduction on the 7,312 killed in July 2012. Cow carcase weights during July 2013 were similar to the previous July at 301kg. Imports of prime cattle from ROI for direct slaughter in NI plants increased to 706 head last week.

This is an increase of 226 head on the previous week and is the highest level of imports recorded since early December 2012. This increase resulted in imports from ROI accounting for 13.3 per cent of the total prime kill in NI last week compared to 8.8 per cent the previous week. Imports of cows from ROI were also at their highest since December 2012 with 145 head imported for direct slaughter.

Exports to GB for direct slaughter last week totalled 276 head, consisting of 178 prime cattle and 97 cows. The reported average steer price in NI last week was back 4.1p/kg on the previous week to 369.3p/kg with the average heifer price back 3.7p/kg to369.3p/kg.

Meanwhile in GB prices were also back but not to the same degree with the average steer price back 1p/kg to 398.8p/kg while the average heifer price was back by 2.9p/kg to 396.9p/kg.

Average steer prices in Scotland and Northern England were similar to the previous week with prices in the Midlands and Southern England back in the region of 2.5p/kg. Heifer prices were within 1p/kg of the previous week in Scotland and Northern England with prices in the Midlands and Northern England back by 6.8p/kg and 5.3p/kg respectively. In ROI last week the R3 steer pricewas back the equivalent of 6.4p/kg to 355p/kg while the R3 heifer price was back by 9.8p/kg to 367.4p/kg.

Liveweight Prices

Finished first quality steers sold to an average of228p/kg thisweek with second quality selling to an average of 195p/kg. First quality heifers sold to an average of218p/kgwith second quality selling to an average of 184p/kg.Good quality beef cows sold from 160-208p/kg (av 175p/kg) with plainer beef cows selling from 120-159p/kg (av 135p/kg).

LMC reported that dairy bred cows sold from 90-144p/kg dependent on quality. Bullocks over 500kg sold to an average of 216p/kg for first quality this week with second quality selling to an average of 170p/kg. First quality heifers over 450kg sold to an average of 195p/kg to a top price of 209p/kg.

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