For the last number of years, a P+ animal was generally quoted a price of 30p/kg to 35p/kg behind the U-3 grade, although in recent months this gap has widened to around 52p/kg. It is a problem for finishers working with cattle from the dairy herd. The reason put forward by processors for the gap in prices is that O- and P grades do not currently meet British supermarket requirements. That means they must sell this beef in markets in direct competition with southern Irish processors.

For the time being, it also means that the prices for O- and P grades, as published in the grid on the Northern View on page 59, are not directly applicable for some finishers.