Weekly exports of cattle from NI to the Republic of Ireland have effectively doubled in the past couple of weeks as prices available there continue to be significantly ahead of NI prices across certain grades and classes of livestock.

The market in the Republic of Ireland is particularly strong for cows, with average prices 20p/kg to 40p/kg more than available in NI. However, there are reports from farmers that up to 330p/kg is being widely offered for R grading heifers to go south for slaughter. In each of the last two weeks, over 500 cattle from NI have been sent for direct slaughter in the Republic. Compare that to an average of around 250 head for much of March.