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LMC Report: Exports of Finished Cattle to GB Fall

03 June 2010

UK - IN the last week of January, the Bulletin (Issue No. 2101) provided an analysis of the trade in finished cattle to and from NI.

This week’s bulletin will provide an interim report on the import and export trade in finished cattle between NI and GB / ROI for the first five months of 2010.

The figures for 2009 showed that numbers of cattle imported to NI from ROI had increased substantially in 2009, while imports from GB had stalled due to Blue Tongue concerns. Meanwhile, with significantly stronger prices available across the water, exports of finished cattle to GB were on the rise, while exports of cattle to ROI were on the decline in 2009.

In the first five months of 2010, similar trends have been evident, although there have been some important developments. Imports of finished cattle remain consistent with last year, while exports are in decine with reduced numbers shipped to ROI. In the first five months of 2010, around 17,000 head of finished cattle have been imported by NI factories; about the same as last year (Figure 1). The proportion of cattle imported from ROI relative to the total NI kill remains similar to last year, with around 8.5% of cattle slaughtered in NI plants during the period from January - May 2010, imported directly from ROI.

In 2009, there was a 32% increase in the number of cattle being exported to GB for direct slaughter. Figure 2 shows that this trend has continued in 2010 with exports of finished cattle to GB increasing in the first five months of 2010 relative to the same period last year. However, it is important to stress that this trade only involved 252 cattle per week (8 lorry loads) in January and February 2010, and it weakened to just 70 finished cattle shipped to GB in the third week of May (Figure 3). This decline was driven by lower prices in GB which fell throughout the spring with the differential between NI and GB prices hitting its narrowest level in late April / early May. Last week there was an increase in numbers shipped to GB with over 150 cattle exported there last week.

Between January and May, finished cattle exports to ROI were 70% lower compared to the same period last year. This trade has been in decline generally over the last three years (Figure 2).





Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

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