Processors in Britain are paying significantly more for finished cattle and hoggets compared to factories in NI.

Official quotes for U-3 grading cattle range from 460p to 466p/kg at NI plants, with deals of 485p to 490p/kg available, depending on numbers.

However, that falls short of the 505p to 510p/kg being paid by processors in Britain for animals at the same conformation.


Plants in Britain are also paying higher prices for cull cows, with price reports showing R-grading animals averaging 380p/kg.

In contrast, R3-grading cows processed in NI averaged 352.4p/kg last week, which is a difference of £100 for a 360kg carcase.


Moving to sheep, and that price gap widens to almost 60p/kg, with official price reports in Britain showing hoggets averaged 631.8p/kg last week, with little change to the trade being reported in recent days.

In contrast, factory prices in NI range from 570p to 580p/kg, up 10p to 15p/kg on last week, although quotes lag further behind on 560p to 565p/kg.

That differential means hoggets processed at local plants are making £11 to £13 less than the same animals processed in Britain.

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