Beef price: How does Ireland stack up against other EU countries?

The latest report from the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) indicates that Irish beef heifer prices increased by 1.2c/kg from the week ending January 20 to the week ending February 17. The prices listed below are exclusive of VAT.

Ireland’s R3 heifers have moved to sixth place in the overall EU standings, compared to seventh place in mid-January. However, Britain progressed to second place, while Northern Ireland has jumped two places to fourth place.

According to the LMC – during the week ending February – R3 heifer prices in the Republic of Ireland were 25.3c/kg behind what R3 heifers made in Britain and 17.4c/kg back on prices achieved in Northern Ireland.

In Ireland, the prices achieved by R3 heifers stood at 380.4c/kg during that week. This is a decrease of 1.2c/kg from the 379.2c/kg paid to Irish farmers during the week ending January 20.

Irish R3 heifer prices stand 1.1c/kg higher than the EU average (for this period), figures from the LMC show.

In Northern Ireland, the R3 heifer price was the equivalent of 397.8c/kg – an increase of 7c/kg on the returns achieved in mid-January, 2019.

The gap between the R3 heifer price in Northern Ireland and the EU average widened by 18.5c/kg during this period.


For the week ending July 15 – in Britain – R3 heifer prices equalled the equivalent of 405.7c/kg. This was an increase of 2.7c/kg from the 402.9c/kg paid during the week ending January 20.

If we take a 300kg heifer carcass – for the week ending February 17 – heifers slaughtered in Italy, Great Britain, Sweden, Northern Ireland and France made €171, €78, €75, €54 and €39 (per head) respectively, more than heifers in the Republic of Ireland.

Other European comparisons

France has stayed in fifth place in the standings. R3 heifers were 393c/kg during the week ending February 17, with a jump of 1c/kg on the previous month’s figures.

Figures from the LMC show that Swedish farmers received a price rise. The R3 heifer price stood at 405.1c/kg (up 0.8c/kg), while Italy stayed in first place with an R3 heifer price of 436.8c/kg.

Spain is ranked in seventh position. Spanish heifer prices fell by 26.2c/kg from the week ending January 20 to the week ending February 17.

Heifers in Germany achieved prices of 371.6c/kg during the week ending February 17.