National average factory prices

National average factory prices for steers, cows, and heifers for the week 03 -09 February 2014, as reported by the Department of Agriculture are as follows:


Factory prices received by farmers for steers have held at a base in the region of €3.90 – €4/kg for a number of weeks now and came under increased pressure again last week. Sample National average prices paid for U=3= cattle was 414c/kg last week which represents a €0.05 rise when compared to the previous week. For cattle in the R=3= grade 395c/kg was received on average by farmers which was down €0.03 on the previous week. While for O=3= steers farmers received on average 383c/kg also which was down €0.03 also on the previous week.


Cow prices were particularly hard hit in recent weeks following on from severe cuts since the start of the year. Average cow factory prices were down last week across all the grade classes. Sample prices include top class U=3= cows held firm on average making 346c/kg up €0.7 on the previous week recovering from a €0.11 fall two weeks ago. R=3= grade cows last week were receiving 320c/kg on average, down €0.01 on the previous week. Poorer grading O=3= were also more or less unchanged last week at 290c/kg a fall of €0.01.


Heifer factory prices were also not immune to downward pressure across all grade classes last week. Quotes for heifers were generally in the region of €3.90 to €4/kg base price. Quality U=3= heifers were making 428c/kg on average last week down €0.04 on the previous week. Farmers killing R=3= heifers were receiving 406c/kg on average which is down €0.05 on the previous week. O=3= heifers average prices were 395c/kg unchanged on the previous two weeks.

In Northern Ireland the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) in its latest weekly update said quotes for U-3 grade prime cattle this week ranged from 322-326p/kg with quotes expected to be 320-322p/kg for early next week.

It said the majority of plants were quoting 324p/kg for both steers and heifers this week with reports of steady supplies. The additional 8- 14p/kg bonus for steers and heifers that kill out in spec continues to be available. Quotes for O+3 cows ranged from 230-244p/kg across the plants this week.

The LMC report that a total of 6,971 prime cattle were slaughtered in NI plants last week compared to 6,561 in the corresponding week last year. Prime cattle throughput during 2014 to date is running 5.5 per cent behind the same period last year.

It also notes a total of 1,768 cows were also slaughtered in NI plants last week compared to 1,617 cows the previous week. Total cow throughput for 2014 to date is back 12 per cent on throughput during the same period in 2013.

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