It’s been a tough year for beef prices here in Ireland, with the average price for an R3 steer back by 6.5% or €0.25/kg based on 2018 levels.

It has been a similar story across the water, with prices back by 7% in the UK and 5% across continental Europe. The Irish beef price has generally tracked the EU price and has sometimes exceeded it over the last number of years. If we go back to the start of the decade, Irish beef prices were 91% of the EU-15 R3 male cattle average. This moved to 101% in 2018. At the end of 2018, the Irish beef price was €3.39/kg, just €0.05/kg behind the EU average price. The Irish beef price actually ran €0.05/kg ahead of the EU price for most of 2018.