Northern Irish finishers paid €11 more than Irish farmers for 280kg R3 heifers
Beef finishers in Northern Ireland are now receiving a higher R3 heifer price than farmers south of the border, recent figures from the European Commission show.
During the week ending May 29, Northern Irish R3 heifers sold for 413.74c/kg, almost 4c/kg more than similar heifers in the Republic.
This means that farmers in the North are paid just over €11 more on a 280kg R3 heifer carcass than farmers in the Republic.
Irish R3 heifers made nearly 12c/kg more than Northern Irish heifers during the week ending May 8,
Back in early May, Irish R3 heifers were selling at 404.7c/kg, while similar heifers in the North made 393.15c/kg.
The change in fortunes for Northern Irish finishers has occurred as the northern R3 heifer prices jumped by 20c/kg over the past three weeks, while prices down south only increased by 5.1c/kg.
Gap widens between UK and Irish heifer prices
According to the European Commission, the gap between Irish and UK R3 heifers also widened last week.
Last week, an Irish R3 heifer traded at 409.8c/kg, while UK farmers received 425.4c/kg for the same heifer.
Over the past month, UK heifers were cheaper than Irish heifers on a number of occasions, mainly due to a weaker Sterling and lower UK beef prices.
However, the AHDB (the organisation for English beef and lamb) indicated that there were some signs of the British beef market improving last week, as the average beef price improved by 1p/kg.
Other continental markets
There has also been some movement in the R3 heifer price on the main markets in Continental Europe, it shows.
R3 heifer prices in Germany (+1.44c/kg), Spain (+4.5c/kg) and Poland (+2.8c/kg) all posted increases, but prices in Italy declined by 7.7c/kg last week compared to the week before.
However, despite the movements in some markets, the R3 heifer price in France has remained unchanged at 384c/kg.