British and Irish heifer prices edging towards parity

British and Irish R3 heifer prices are edging towards parity, with the difference standing at just 3.7c/kg in the week ending June 4, figures from the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) show.

This price differential meant farmers in Britain received €10.36 more for a 280kg R3-grade heifer carcass, than their counterparts in the Republic of Ireland.

At the end of the first week in June, Irish heifer prices increased by 9c/kg compared to the same week in May.

Irish farmers received an R3 heifer price of 417.8c/kg in the week ending June 4, meaning Irish heifer prices retained their position of fourth place in the EU heifer price league table.

This occurred in a week when the euro was the equivalent of 87.1p, according to the LMC.

R3 heifer prices in Britain remained in third place in the EU league table at the end of the first week in June, with a price of 421.5c/kg.

This was a 6.5c/kg decrease from the 428c/kg paid during the week ending May 7, figures show.

Meanwhile, at the beginning of June the EU average R3 heifer price stood at 389.5c/kg. This was an increase of 1.5c/kg from the 388c/kg paid in the week ending May 7.

This means that Irish heifer prices were 28.3c/kg above the EU average price at the beginning of June.

The differential between R3 heifer prices in Britain and the EU average narrowed from 40c/kg in the week ending May 7, to 32c/kg in the corresponding week in June.

heifer prices
Source: LMC

At the beginning of June, heifer prices in Northern Ireland dropped to fifth place in the EU league table; farmers in the North received an R3 heifer price of 417.3c/kg. This represented a decrease of 2.7c/kg compared to four weeks earlier.

The differential between the R3 heifer price in the North and the EU average narrowed from 32c/kg in the week ending May 7, to 27.8c/kg in the corresponding week in June.

Farmers in the North received 4.2c/kg and 0.5c/kg less than their counterparts in Britain and the Republic of Ireland respectively.

These price gaps equated to a difference of €11.76 (Britain) and €1.40 (Republic of Ireland) on a 280kg heifer carcass for farmers in Northern Ireland, LMC figures show.