North/south heifer price difference remains at close to 10c/kg

The heifer price divide between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland remained at 9.6c/kg in the week ending April 16, figures from the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) show.

This equated to a difference of €26.88 on a 280kg heifer carcass.

In the Republic of Ireland farmers received a price of 402.4c/kg for an R3 grade heifer at the end of the second week in April, an increase of 14.6c/kg compared to the corresponding week in March.

This increase meant that Irish heifer prices remained in fifth position in the EU heifer price league table.

An equivalent price of 412c/kg was paid to farmers in Northern Ireland in the week ending April 16; this meant that heifer prices in the North climbed one position to third in the EU league table.

Heifer prices north of the border increased by 12.3c/kg at the end of the second week of April, compared to the week ending March 19.

Mid-way through April, the average R3-grade heifer price in the EU stood at 382.6c/kg, an increase of 0.2c/kg from the average price four weeks ago, according to the LMC.

This left Irish heifer prices 19.8c/kg above the EU average in the week ending April 16, when the euro decreased to 85.1p.

The differential between the R3 heifer price in the North and the EU average widened from 17.3c/kg in the week ending March 19 to 29.4c/kg at the end of the second week in April.

Heifer Prices, LMC
Source: LMC

Meanwhile, British heifer prices remained in second place on the league table in the week ending April 16, with an equivalent R3 heifer price of 419.1c/kg.

This was a 12.1c/kg increase from the 407.0c/kg paid during the corresponding week in March, according to the LMC.

In the week ending April 16, the price difference between R3 heifer prices in Britain and the EU average widened from 24.6c/kg in to 36.5c/kg in the space of four weeks.

British farmers received 16.7c/kg more than Irish farmers, which equated to a difference of €46.76 on a 280kg heifer carcass. British heifer prices also surpassed those in Northern Ireland by 7.1c/kg – or €19.88 on a 280kg heifer carcass.