North/south beef price divide widens to over 25c/kg
The North/south beef price differential for R3 grade heifer carcasses widened to 25.1c/kg for the week ending November 13, figures from the Livestock and Meat Commission showed.
Going by this difference in price, it equates to farmers in the Republic of Ireland receiving €70.28 less on a 280kg heifer carcass compared to farmers North of the border.
In the week ending November 13, farmers in the Republic were paid 368c/kg for an R3 grade heifer carcass, a fall of 6c/kg on the corresponding week in October.
This price decrease also means that heifer prices received south of the border were 6.5c/kg lower than the EU average, which stood at 374.5c/kg for the week ending November 13.
The increased price gap between the North and the Republic can be put down to a significant increase in beef prices in Northern Ireland, where the R3 grade heifer price has risen by 18.5c/kg since last month.
At the end of the second week in October farmers north of the border received 374.7c/kg for an R3 heifer carcass, compared to 393.1c/kg in the week ending November 13, LMC figures show.
This price increase also saw the difference between Northern Ireland prices and the EU average jump from 1.7c/kg to 18.6c/kg in Northern Ireland’s favour during the same time frame.
British farmers continuing to enjoy a higher beef price
Meanwhile, British farmers enjoyed a R3 heifer price increase of 8c/kg in the week ending November 13 compared to the week ending October 16.
This meant that prices increased to 406.8c/kg for a R3 grade heifer carcass in Britain, widening the gap between the EU average from 25.8c/kg at the end of the second week in October to 32.3c/kg in the week ending November 13.
According to LMC figures, the price differential between the Republic of Ireland and Britain stood at 36.8c/kg in the week ending November 13, a difference of €108.64 on a 280kg heifer carcass.
Equally British farmers received a better price than their Northern Ireland counterparts, with a difference of 13.7c/kg or €38.36 on a 280kg R3 grade heifer carcass.
EU League Table
The Republic of Ireland remained in eighth place despite a price fall in the EU Deadweight Cattle Prices league table.
However, both Britain and Northern Ireland jumped two places due to price increases of 8c/kg and 18.5c/kg.
Britain is currently in second place, but are a significant distance behind Sweden who have a R3 heifer price of 470c/kg.
Jumping from seventh to fifth position, Northern Ireland over took both France and Spain in the league table, LMC figures show.