There is an 112c/kg difference in the prices paid for R3 steer beef in the Republic of Ireland and Britain, according to the LMC (Livestock and Meat Commission of Northern Ireland).

According to figures from the LMC, this equates to a €339 difference in carcass value for a 300kg steer produced in the Republic of Ireland compared to Britain.

The difference in heifer price currently sits at 98c/kg, which results in a carcass value difference of €294 for a 300kg heifer.

Figures from the LMC also indicate that there is a substantial difference in the beef price for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

As a result, producers in Northern Ireland receive an additional 70c/kg for steers and 57c/kg for heifers compared to farmers in the Republic of Ireland.

On a 300kg carcass, this represents a difference of €210 and €171 respectively for steers and heifers.

These differences have occurred as the deadweight prices of cattle from the Republic of Ireland have weakened in Sterling terms, according to the LMC, as the euro has weakened against the Sterling.

LMC cattle prices

Cattle from the Republic accounts for 10% of Northern Irish Kill

Last week, Irish beef accounted for 10% of the total beef slaughtered in Northern Ireland. Prime cattle imports from the Republic to Northern Ireland sat at 664, which was an increase of 20 from the previous week.

In the corresponding week in 2014, 537 prime cattle were imported from the Republic of Ireland for direct slaughter which accounted for 8% of total prime cattle throughput.

According to the LMC, a total of 132 cows were imported from the Republic of Ireland for slaughter in Northern Irish plants last week while 322 cows were exported from Northern Ireland for slaughter in the Republic.

Irish Factory Prices

Early quotes from the country’s beef plants indicate that there has been little movement in the prices quoted for prime cattle, but the prices paid for cull cows have slipped slightly.

The most recent quotes from the beef plants indicate that farmers are being offered 390-395c/kg for base steers on the Quality Payment Scheme.

The prices offered for heifers also remain similar to last weeks levels with plants offering 400-405c/kg for these lots.

Cull cow prices have slipped slightly on last week’s prices by 10c/kg, with processors sitting a 340-375/kg while quotes for R grade cows stand at 340-350c/kg.