ROI farmers get less for their heifers than NI counterparts

The heifer price difference between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland stood at €66.36 on a 280kg R3 grade carcass in the week ending March 5.

This equated to a difference of 23.7c/kg, figures from the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) show.

At the end of the first week in March Irish farmers were paid 384.2c/kg, leaving Irish prices in eighth position in the EU heifer price league table.

This was a slight increase of 0.3c/kg from the 383.9c/kg paid in the week ending February 5, figure show.

Meanwhile, prices in Northern Ireland reported an increase of 0.7c/kg in the week ending March 5.

This meant that farmers in the North received a price of 407.9c/kg for an R3 grade heifer. Prices in Northern Ireland remained in fourth place in the EU league table.

The EU average heifer price stood at 383.9c/kg at the beginning of March, an increase of 0.7c/kg on the previous month, according to the LMC. This occurred in a week when the euro was the equivalent of 85.6p.

This meant that the Irish heifer price was 0.3c/kg above the EU average, while the heifer price paid to farmers in Northern Ireland was 24c/kg above the EU average at the end of the first week in March.

The differential between prices in the North and the EU average widened slightly by 0.1c/kg in the space of a month, figures show.

heifer prices
Figures sourced from the Livestock and Meat Commission

British heifer prices dropped to third place in the EU league table in the week ending March 5, with an equivalent R3 heifer price of 415.9c/kg.

This was a 3.3c/kg decrease from the 419.2c/kg paid during the week ending February 5, according to the LMC.

Because of this price drop, the price gap between the British and EU average price narrowed from 36c/kg to 32c/kg, in the space of four weeks.

But prices paid to British farmers still remained considerably ahead of prices on the island of Ireland.

Farmers in the north were paid 8c/kg less than their British counterparts at the end of the first week in March, while farmers in the Republic of Ireland received 31.7c/kg less.

This equated to a difference of €22.40 and €88.76 on a 280kg R3 grade heifer carcass, to farmers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland respectively.

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