13 October 1999
Irish switch could help UK beef

IRELANDS beef farmers have switched into the live export trade creating demand for home-produced animals, according to the National Beef Association (NBA).

The organisation is forecasting a fall in prime cattle slaughterings in the Republic of Ireland as farmers respond to lower prices averaging 150p per kilo deadweight for prime bullocks.

They are tempted by 118p/kg liveweight for calves exported to finishers in Spain and Italy.

The change has already meant that 223,000 have been shipped out so far this year, against just 85,000 last year.

The NBA believes exports will increase further when breeders begin to respond to the opportunity under Agenda 2000 to take up to 20% of suckler cow premium on un-bred heifers.

The association urges supermarkets to widen their procurement policies, mostly based on deadweight, and begin to source suitable cattle through the liveweight system.

  • The Herald 13/10/99 page 24