North/south heifer price divide continues to narrow

The north/south R3 grade heifer price gap continued to narrow in the week ending January 15, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission.

The latest figures from the LMC show that farmers in the Republic of Ireland received 22.1c/kg less for an R3 heifer compared to farmers in the North at the end of the second week in January.

This price difference means farmers in the North received €66.88 more for a 280kg heifer carcass compared to prices in the Republic of Ireland.

Despite the significant gap, the divide fell from €88.20 on a 280kg heifer carcass at the end of the first week in the New Year.

Farmers in the Republic of Ireland received 383.1c/kg for an R3 grade heifer in the week ending January 15, an increase of 6.5c/kg compared to the corresponding week in December 2016, LMC figures show.

Thanks to this increase, the price in the Republic of Ireland stood at 2.6c/kg above the EU average, which stood at 380.5c/kg at the end of the second week in January.

The EU average price also reported an increase of 0.5c/kg compared to the week ending December 18, in a week when the euro was the equivalent of 86.9p.

At the end of the second week in 2017, the R3 heifer price in Northern Ireland was the equivalent of 405.2c/kg which placed it in fifth place in the EU league table, according to the LMC.

This was a decrease of 15.8c/kg, down from 421.0c/kg in the week ending December 18 when the R3 heifer price in the North was in third place in the league table, figures show.

Figures sourced from the LMC.
Figures sourced from the LMC.

Similar to the north/south price divide, the difference between the North and the EU average narrowed from 41.1c/kg in the week ending December 18 to 24.7c/kg at the end of the second week in January.

British heifer prices remained in second place in the league table in the week ending January 15, with an equivalent R3 heifer price of 412.7c/kg.

This represented a decrease of 16.9c/kg from the 429.5c/kg paid during the corresponding week in December, leaving it 32.2c/kg above the EU average.

At the end of the second week in January, British farmers received €82.88 and €21 more for a 280kg heifer carcass, compared to farmers in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively.

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