North/south heifer price differential widens to almost 13c/kg

The price differential of R3 grade heifers between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland widened to 12.9c/kg for the week ending September 4, figures from the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) show.

Last month, for the week ending August 7, the price differential between the North and the Republic stood at 7.8c/kg.

R3 grade heifer prices in the Republic of Ireland increased by 1c/kg, to 387.7c/kg, in the week ending September 4 compared to the same period last month.

This minimal increase was significantly lower than the improvements seen in both Northern Ireland and Britain, with increases of 6.1c/kg and 12.4c/kg respectively.

The heifer price in Northern Ireland was the equivalent of 400.6c/kg, while in Britain it stood at the equivalent of 425.2c/kg.

The average R3 heifer price in the EU was 378.1c/kg, up 2.1c/kg from August 7, figures show.

The differential between the R3 grade heifer price in the Republic and the EU average stood at 9.6c/kg, while the differential between the North and the EU average widened from 18.5c/kg at the end of the first week in August to 22.5c/kg in the week ending September 4.

The differential between R3 heifer prices in Britain and the EU average widened from 36.8c/kg in the week ending August 7 to 47.1c/kg on September 4, 2016, according to the LMC.

The Republic of Ireland held its place in sixth position in the EU league table for cattle prices, Britain remains in second place for the week ending on September 4 and Northern Ireland held fourth place.

EU average heifer prices for the week ending September 4 Source: LMC
EU average heifer prices for the week ending September 4 Source: LMC

Sweden remains in pole position in the EU league table, with a price of 507.9c/kg, thanks to posting a price increase of just over 30c/kg, LMC figures show.

Another significant mover in the EU league table for cattle prices was Italy, who reported an increase of 23.3c/kg at the beginning of September, moving them from fifth position to third overall.

However, both Luxembourg and Spain reported a fall in R3 heifer prices in the week ending September 4, with prices decreasing by 14.2c/kg and 10.3c/kg respectively, according to the LMC.

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