North/south beef price gap widens again

Ireland remains in eighth place on the overall Livestock and Meat Commission’s (LMC) EU heifer price league table for the week ending October 30. The average price paid for an R3 heifer carcass was 368.9c/kg.

Significantly, however, farmers in the Republic of Ireland were paid 13.1c/kg less for R3 heifer carcasses than their counterparts in the North.

This gap has widened over the past two weeks, when the price differential was a much more marginal 0.7c/kg.

The difference in price means that for a 280kg R3 heifer carcass a farmer in the North will be paid nearly €37 more than in the Republic.

When comparing Britain to the Republic of Ireland, the difference on a single carcass is equivalent to just over €81 for the week ending October 30.

Compared to the week ending October 2 (a month previous) this represents a drop in the difference, when a 280kg R3 heifer carcass in Britain would have earned almost €125 in excess of what it would have made in the Republic.

Third week in a row

Ireland has held the eighth position in the LMC league table for three weeks running, beginning with the week ending October 16.

While numerical position has been static throughout this time the price paid in Ireland for R3 heifers has dropped to 5.3c/kg below the EU average, having been 1c/kg above the average for the week ending October 16.

Source: Livestock and Meat Commission
Source: Livestock and Meat Commission

The average price paid for R3 heifer carcasses in the EU is relatively unchanged at 374.2c/kg.

Britain and Northern Ireland

Both Northern Ireland and Britain have dropped significant places in the league table when compared to last month, the week ending October 2.

However, these positions appear to have stabilised for the week ending October 30.

Britain and the North paid 24.6c/kg and 7.8c/kg above the EU average of 374.2c/kg for R3 heifers, a clear improvement from the previous week.

This stabilisation has helped both Britain and the North to re-establish a clear gap between the prices they pay for R3 heifers compared to the prices paid in the Republic.