ROI/NI steer price differential narrows to 36.3p/kg

The differential in steer prices in Ireland and Northern Ireland last week was 36.3p/kg (51c/kg), according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

Over the period the average R3 steer price in the Republic was 292.3p/kg (411.3c/kg) while in the North the average price was 328.6p/kg (462.4c/kg).

As the year has progressed the differential in R3 steer prices between the North and the Republic has narrowed slightly but still remains significant, the LMC says.

It says that this makes the Republic’s beef very competitive against the North’s products in retail markets that don’t demand UK origin beef.

Furthermore, the weakening of the euro against the Sterling coupled with strong cattle supplies have been key factors in maintaining the differential in deadweight cattle prices between the North and the Republic, it says.

The LMC says reports in recent weeks indicate that the availability of prime cattle for slaughter in Republic has also tightened.

The average R3 steer price in Northern Ireland last week was 41.1p/kg (57.8c/kg) lower than the price paid for R3 steers in the week ending January 24.

This accounts for an 11% decline in the R3 steer price in the North over a 16 week period, it says.

The average R3 steer price in the UK last week was 39.3p/kg (55.3c/kg) lower than the week ending January 24 2015. This also represents an 11% decline over the same 16 week period as in the North.

As is the case in Ireland, the LMC says that reports from the UK indicate that prime cattle availability for slaughter has started to tighten.

Throughput of prime cattle in the UK last week was 3% lower than the corresponding week in 2014, it says.

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