Ireland has dropped to fifth place on the EU cattle prices league table, down two places from last month, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).
For the week ending August 16, 2015, the average R3 heifer price in the Republic was 414.4c/kg, this is down 16.0c/kg on the same time last month, it says.
This latest cattle price for the Republic places it 14.1c/kg above the EU average price of 400.2c/kg.
Northern Ireland retains its second place spot on the cattle prices league table. For the week ending August 16, the average R3 heifer price was the equivalent of 462.0c/kg; down 25.4c/kg on the price paid in the week ending July 19.
These latest cattle prices from the Republic and the North now places the North/South price differential at the equivalent of 47.6c/kg, the LMC says.
Looking to the UK, for the week ending August 16, the average R3 heifer price was 493.4c/kg, some 17.1c/kg lower than the week ending July 19.
Despite the drop, the UK still holds onto its top spot on the league table.
The decline in the UK R3 heifer price resulted in the UK/EU price differential narrowing from 107.4c/kg in the week ending July 19, to 93.2c/kg in the week ending August 16.
Factories say ‘high’ Irish beef prices are unsustainable
Meanwhile, current Irish beef prices have been labelled as ‘unsustainable’ by Meat Industry Ireland (MII) the body representing Irish meat factories.
It says that other continental markets remain weak and says Irish prices for finished cattle are at 110% of the EU average price.
It says this is way above their EU competitors and is not sustainable.
MII called on the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney to do ‘everything possible’ to secure this access and to also use the forthcoming Agricultural Council to seek an EU wide resolution to these market issues.