UK and ROI Cattle Price Comparisons

UK - Cattle prices in the various regions of the UK and Ireland have increased by between 19 and 30 per cent for the year to date figures compared with the same period in 2007. According to a Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) bulletin, prices have risen because of the contraction in the numbers of cattle available for slaughter.
calendar icon 23 June 2008
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The EU import ban on Brazilian beef and the subsequent reduction in the volume of beef on the EU market has also had a positive impact on cattle prices. However, the re-costing of the Task Force production models (previously published in the press) shows that the rise in NI prices will just cover the increase in feed, fuel and fertiliser costs (approximatley 50p/kg carcase weight for both beef and lamb), leaving producers no better off than they were last year.

ROI prices rise by 30 per cent

The largest price increase occurred in ROI, where the average for R3/R4/O3/O4 grade steers and heifers rose by 30 per cent in Sterling terms. The rise in Irish prices is due to two factors – the increase in domestic Irish prices due to lower supplies and the weakening of Sterling versus the Euro, which has resulted in higher converted prices. Approximately half of the increase is due to higher Irish cattle prices and the rest is a result of Sterling/Euro exchange rate falling by 15 per cent. Prices in NI have risen by 24 per cent, which is slightly higher than the rise in prices in GB. Supplies in NI have fallen more significantly than in GB.

Table 1 gives the average price for each of the regions for January to the middle of June in 2007 and 2008. In Table 2 the average price differential between NI and each of the regions is reported. In 2008 the price differentials between NI and GB have contracted. The NI average is currently 2p higher than the average for the south of England. Irish prices in 2007 were 4p lower than in NI, but in 2008 they are 5p higher.

Table 1 R3/R4/O3/O4 Steer and Heifer Average January to June (p/kg)
% change
Northern England
Midlands & Wales
Southern England

Table 1 R3/R4/O3/O4 Steer and Heifer Average January to June (p/kg)
North Eng - NI
Midlands - NI
South Eng - NI
South Eng - NI

Recent price movements

In May and June 2008 prices in the north of England increased above the level of Scotland and the gap between Scotland and the other GB regions also decreased. The figures for the year as a whole show that the GB:NI differentials have decreased and between January and April 2008 they narrowed to 1p, but in May and June it has re-opened to an average of 12p/kg. UK and ROI prices are illustrated in the graph below.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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