O-grade livestock farms left with €30m black hole
Livestock farmers producing O-grade animals are being left with a black hole of more than €30m in their income for this year compared to their British counterparts supplying the same number, weight and grade of stock.
Official figures released within the past week have confirmed that the price, for the year to date, for O-grade cattle in Ireland has slumped to a five-year low, while in Britain producers are being paid the equivalent of €60-65/hd more than they were five years ago.
The statistics also show that the difference between the Irish and British prices for O-grade steers has increased by 340pc since 2008 and producers in Britain are being paid €100- 120/hd more for the same grade of animal.
R4-grade steers have also suffered, with the margin between Irish and British prices increasing by 385pc, but the price difference for U4 steers has narrowed by 9pc.
In 2008 the UK average price for O3-grade steers was 6c/kg more than that which was paid to Irish producers in the same year.
The average difference for this year has increased more than four fold to 26c/kg excluding VAT.
There is a difference of 32c/kg between the average Irish and average British 2010 price of O4-grade steers compared to a difference of 11c/kg in 2008.