Northern Irish farmers have reacted strongly after confirmation that 14.6% of their prime cattle kill during last week in September was imported from the Republic where stock is around £50 a head cheaper.
As a result, local average prices fell whereas those in the UK continued to rise.
"We just cannot believe that we are looking at a £140-£150 a head price gap between the average weight R4L steer carcases we produce here in the Province and those sold by fellow members on the mainland," said Oisin Murnion, National Beef Association NI chairman.
"Our two most predatory processors are once again showing they cannot resist being motivated by short term gain - instead of being long sighted and working with farmers to establish a beef sector where the market price exceeds the production cost and there is a much better chance of all participants enjoying a measure of economic comfort."
At the end of last month the GB average for R4L steers rose by 1.3p to a record 356p at the same time as the NI average for exactly the same type of cattle fell by 0.6p to just 314p.
The association said it was no accident because that same week exactly 1,443 cattle were trucked from the Republic which means that for every six animals of NI origin processed one from the South, which was £50 cheaper, was thrown into the pool to further raise processor margins.
"This is a short sighted act of avarice. NI processors sell much of their beef onto the mainland and as a result already benefit from the £147 per head discount on NI cattle," said Murnion.
"But for those that truck in stock from the South, which we must stress does not include ABP, it appears that even a £147 a head purchase cost advantage was not enough so they made sure they could take some beef off cattle that were cheaper by fully £200 a head as well."
"During a Stormont debate earlier this week which, among other things, covered the price differentials between cattle produced in GB, NI, and the ROI, it was noted that beef farmers like ourselves were collectively losing £1 million a week in market income as a result of the NI discount."
"It was also said that profitable livestock farming is the foundation for future economic development in the Province which makes it important that livestock farmers received a fairer price for their product."
"So the NBA maintains that not only its members, but the economy of the Province as a whole, would be much better off if importing companies gave up bringing in live cattle from the South and paid prices that were much closer to mainland levels for NI cattle instead," Murnion added.
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