Irish R3 heifer prices ‘third-highest in Europe’

Irish heifer prices overtook Northern Irish prices last month to take a top three position for the month of May, according to a report from the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

In the Republic of Ireland, the price for an R3 heifer was 416.5c/kg in the week ending May 28, which was an increase of 9.9c/kg from the 406.6c/kg paid in the week ending April 30.

This rise propelled Ireland into third place in the overall EU standings, compared to eighth place in mid-March and fourth place in April.

Irish R3 heifer prices are 27.7c/kg above the EU average and 0.3c/kg higher than the equivalent price in Northern Ireland.

In the week ending May 28, the average R3 heifer price in the EU was 388.8c/kg, an improvement of 5.2c/kg from 383.6c/kg in the week ending April 30.

Northern Ireland and Britain

Northern Ireland dropped from third to fourth place in the EU league table. The R3 heifer price was the equivalent of 416.2c/kg; a drop of 1.4c/kg from 417.6c/kg in the week ending April 30.

The R3 heifer price in Northern Ireland in the week ending May 28 stood at 27.4c/kg above the EU average.

The LMC noted that the euro had increased to 86.6p in the week ending May 28, from 84.7p in the week ending April 30.

Britain remained in second position despite a 3.0c/kg decrease from the 423.2c/kg paid during the week ending April 30. Britain had an equivalent R3 heifer price of 420.2c/kg in the week ending May 28.

The differential between R3 heifer prices in Britain and the EU average narrowed from 39.6c/kg in the week ending April 30 to 31.4c/kg in the week ending May 28.

The difference between Britain and Ireland in terms of price has closed in to 3.7c/kg for equivalent R3 heifers. By the same measure, the price gap between Northern Ireland and the UK was 4.0c/kg.

In practical terms, this equates to farmers from Britain earning €10.36 more than farmers in the Republic of Ireland for a 280kg heifer carcass.

British farmers earned €11.20 more than Northern Irish farmers, going by the same measure of a 280kg heifer.