Northern Irish R3 heifers now €47 cheaper than Irish heifers

A 280kg Northern Irish heifer carcass is now €47 cheaper than a similar heifer slaughtered in the Republic of Ireland, recent figures from the European Commission show.

During the week ending April 24, Irish R3 heifers made 402.4c/kg, while heifers slaughtered north of the border sold for 385.58c/kg. This is a price difference of almost 17c/kg.

Two weeks ago, the price difference between Irish and Northern Irish heifers stood at just over 18c/kg, but the Northern Irish heifer price increased slightly last week.

UK R3 heifers were also cheaper than heifers slaughtered in the Republic last week. Figures from the European Commission show that UK R3 heifers made 2c/kg less than Irish heifers.

On a 280kg heifer carcass, this is a price difference of €5.60.

Previously, both the Northern Irish and UK beef price were higher than the beef price here, but since the start of the year both have dropped dramatically.

The British beef price has dropped to its lowest level in five years, with the price falling by 20p/kg (26c/kg).

The UK is a significant market for Irish beef, as it took 52% of the beef exported from Ireland last year, according to Bord Bia.

But, the closeness of the Irish and UK heifer price is likely to have an impact on the quantity of beef exported to the UK this year.

According to Bord Bia, Irish exports to the UK have already dropped this year due to the narrow beef price gap caused by a weaker Sterling, which makes Irish cattle more expensive to UK buyers.

Despite the ease in Northern Irish and UK beef price since the start of the year, last week’s beef price on the continent remained similar to the previous week.

European heifer prices April 24