North/south heifer price differential narrows again

The price differential between R3 grade heifers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland narrowed to 3.4c/kg for the week ending August 14, 2016, figures from the LMC show.

For the same week ending the average R3 heifer price in the Republic was 386.8c/kg, while in the North it was the equivalent of 390.2c/kg.

This latest cattle price in the Republic was back 7.3c/kg from the 394.0c/kg paid in the week ending July 17, 2016 and this placed it 9.9c/kg above the EU average price.

The differential between the R3 heifer price in Northern Ireland and the EU average narrowed from 16.0c/kg in the week ending July 17 to 13.3c/kg in the week ending August 14.

In the week ending August 14, the average R3 heifer price in the EU was 376.9c/kg, up 1.0c/kg from 375.9c/kg in the week ending July 17.

Meanwhile in Britain, an average R3 heifer was the equivalent of 412.0c/kg. This was an 8.2c/kg increase from the 403.8c/kg paid during the week ending July 17.

The differential between average R3 heifer prices in Britain and the EU widened from 27.9c/kg in the week ending July 17 to 35.1c/kg in the week ending August 14.

Britain holds second place on the EU deadweight cattle league table, Northern Ireland holds fifth and Ireland’s sits in sixth place.

eu cattle prices

Irish cattle trade

For the week ending August 19, the Irish cattle trade remained relatively steady with little change in demand and supplies reported as tight across some categories, according to Bord Bia.

In general, it found steers were purchased at a base price of between €3.80/kg and €3.85/kg while heifers were making between €3.90/kg and €3.95/kg on the Quality Payment System.

These prices exclude the €0.12 bonus payable on in-spec QA animals. Looking at cows, O grade cow prices are generally in the range between €2.90/kg and €3.10/kg.

Cattle supplies at Irish export meat plants for the week ending August 14 reached just over 30,500 head which was 7% or almost 2,000 head higher compared to the corresponding week last year, Bord Bia said.

Cumulatively, supplies of young bulls are up 29% compared to the equivalent period in 2015 while cows are up 4% on 2015 numbers.

Heifers remain on a par with year previous levels and steers are back 2%, while total year to date supply at export meat plants is up 3% or 27,000 head at over 977,000 head.