Northern Ireland cattle buyers have bought more than 50,000 cattle from the Republic of Ireland since the start of 2021.
The record number of exports to Northern Ireland have increased competition for well-fleshed cows, heifer and steers at marts across the Republic of Ireland this year.
Most of the cattle going north are either for direct slaughter, forward production or forward-store type heifers and steers.
Predictions are that the upward trend will continue for the rest of 2021 and into 2022.
A total of 51,839 cattle from the Republic have been exported to Northern Ireland in the first 34 weeks of the year, according to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
This number of exports to Northern Ireland is up by 31 per cent. This is compared to 39,531 for the same period in 2020 and 20,897 in 2019.
However, overall cattle exports from Ireland have dropped this year, with the largest decline recorded in the weanling export category which fell by 5,279 head to 11,729 head of weanlings.