North/south heifer price difference close to 25c/kg

The R3 grade heifer price difference between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland stood at close to 25c/kg at the end of February, figures show.

Irish farmers received 384.7c/kg for an R3 grade heifer in the week ending February 26, while farmers in the North were paid the equivalent of 409.6c/kg, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).

This represents a gap of 24.9c/kg, or a price difference of €69.72 on a 280kg R3 grade heifer carcass.

In the space of a month, Irish heifer prices decreased by 0.6c/kg. This meant that Irish heifer prices remained in eight place in the EU heifer price league table.

Heifer prices in the North retained third position in the league table at the end of February, thanks to a 1.9c/kg increase.

The EU average R3 grade heifer price fell by 0.5c/kg, to 383.4c/kg, in the week ending February 26.

This occurred in a week when the euro was the equivalent of 84.7p, according to the LMC.

At the end of February Irish heifer prices were 2.3c/kg above the EU average, figures show.

Meanwhile, the price difference between the R3 heifer price in the North and the EU average widened from 25.2c/kg in the week ending January 29, to 27.2c/kg at the end of last month.

British heifer prices managed to remain in second place in the EU league table, despite a slight price fall in the week ending February 26.

An equivalent R3 heifer price of 419.1c/kg was paid to British farmers at the end of last month, a drop of 0.5c/kg compared to prices four weeks beforehand, LMC figures show.

There was no change to the difference between the British R3 grade heifer price and the EU average, which stood at 36.7c/kg.

British farmers continued to be paid significantly more for a 280kg heifer carcass than farmers in the Republic of Ireland and the North, at €96.32 and €26.60 respectively.