Shipments of beef to the UK were back 18% in October 2015 compared to the same month in 2014, according to AHDB.

The organisation for the English beef and sheep industry said that this was due to lower Irish production.

AHDB said that exports from Ireland were down 18% year-on-year at 13,700t. It attributes this fall as a result of lower imports of boneless fresh chilled product.

Overall imports of beef into the UK in October were back 13% on last year at 21,000t, according to AHDB.

There was another surge in imports from Poland to the UK, up almost a quarter year-on-year to 1,300t, however AHDB states that despite this increase, imports from Poland still constitute only a very small proportion of UK import requirement.

It also said that the relationship between the euro and Sterling continues to play a role in the competitiveness of the UK market, in particular for other EU importers.

In the year to date, imports are up over 8% on the year, entirely attributed to more product coming from other Member States, it said.

According to AHDB, the lack of a competitive position continues to be a problem for UK exports, in particular to other EU Member States.

€1.10/kg UK/Irish beef price gap raised in the Dail

The significant current beef price differential between the UK and Ireland was raised in the Dail by Fianna Fail, Agriculture Spokesman, Eamon O Cuiv.

He said a year ago, there was a huge concern in the beef industry about the price differential being achieved between British and Irish cattle on the British market.

We had farmers outside the factory gates. Eventually, in response to this, the Minister set up the beef forum.

“A year on, to use an appropriate metaphor considering the Minister is in Africa, the beef forum has turned out to be a toothless tiger.”

O Cuiv said the forum has had no significant effect on the massive problems that beset the beef trade.