Weak euro sees 35% rise in prime cattle moving North

The continued weakness of the value of the euro relative to Sterling has continued to support an increase the number of cattle being exported to Northern Ireland for slaughter.

According to latest statistics from the Livestock and Meat Commission in Northern Ireland its imports of prime cattle from the Republic for direct slaughter last week totalled 362 head which brings imports for 2015 to date to 8,610 head.

It says in the corresponding period in 2014 imports from the Republic for direct slaughter in Northern Ireland plants totalled 6,400 head which accounts for a 35% increase in imports year on year.

live cattle exports ni
Bord Bia

According to Bord Bia figures, total live cattle exports to Northern Ireland continue to be well ahead of 2014 up some 40% at 22,614.

A breakdown of these figures shows exports of stores up some 62% at 2,808 head, finished cattle exports up 40% at 16,925 and exports of calves up 12%.

As of midday on Monday May 25 the Sterling is trading at just over 70p against the euro some 10p lower than the same day last year.

GBP per 1 EUR

euro pound rate
Source: xe.com

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