North/south heifer price differential narrows
The R3 grade heifer price gap between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland narrowed in the week ending February 12.
Figures from the Livestock and Meat Commission show that farmers in the North were being paid 22.5c/kg more than their counterparts in the Republic of Ireland at the end of the second week in January.
This equates to a price difference of €63/head on a 280kg R3 grade heifer carcass.
Irish farmers were paid 384.2c/kg in the week ending February 12, compared to a heifer price of the equivalent of 406.7c/kg in the North, figures show.
A similar price increase of 1.5c/kg was reported in the North at the end of the second week in February, when compared to the price in the week ending January 15, leaving it in fourth position in the table.
Meanwhile, the EU average R3 heifer price increased by 1.4c/kg in the week ending February 12 compared to the price four weeks ago, bringing the average price to 381.9c/kg.
This occurred in a week when the euro was the equivalent of 85.6p.
At the end of the second week in February the Irish heifer price was 2.3c/kg above the EU average, while farmers in the North received 24.8c/kg above the EU average.
A price increase of 4.7c/kg since January 15, ensured that British prices remained in second position in the EU league table.
The price differential between British heifer prices and the EU average widened from 32.2/kg in the week ending January 15, to 35.5c/kg at the end of the second week in January.
British prices are considerably ahead of those being paid in the North, 10.7c/kg, and in the Republic of Ireland, 33.2c/kg.
These equated to a price difference of €29.96, on a 280kg R3 grade carcass, and €92.96 respectively.