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Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 30 Jan 2002

Vol. 547 No. 1

Written Answers. - Cattle Prices.

Gerry Reynolds


368 Mr. G. Reynolds asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the reason for the considerable price differential between cattle of 15 months, produced on Irish farms and in most other member states; and his plans to examine the reason there is a difference in price in view of a common currency. [2700/02]

The level of cattle prices in the different member states is a function of a number of factors, including, in particular, the preference in certain countries for domestically produced beef, the age at slaughter, the rate of self sufficiency and distance from the market. These factors help to explain the reason prices in member states such as Italy and Spain, which are traditionally major importers of weanlings and store cattle and where animals are slaughtered younger, tend to be higher than in member states such as Ireland, which is a substantial net exporter of live cattle and beef.

While store prices in Italy and Spain are currently higher than in Ireland, the gap between prices in Ireland and these two member states has narrowed substantially over the past 14 months, with the result that Irish store prices have moved from 85% of the Spanish prices in October 2000 to 94% at present.