North/south heifer price divide stands at close to €64/head
The North/south R3 grade heifer price divide stood at €63.84/head on a 280kg carcass, figures from the Livestock and Meat Commission show.
At the end of the last week in January, farmers in the Republic of Ireland received 385.3c/kg for an R3 grade heifer, an increase of 3.4c/kg compared to the price paid in the week ending January 1.
This left the Irish heifer price at 22.8c/kg below the equivalent price received by farmers in the North, which stood at 408.1c/kg in the week ending January 29, figures show.
R3 grade heifer prices in Northern Ireland reported a decrease of 8.7c/kg from the 416.8c/kg received by farmers in the week ending January 1.
Despite this price drop heifer prices in the North climbed from fourth to third in the EU league table in the space of four weeks.
At the end of January, the average R3 heifer price in the EU increased by 3.2c/kg to 382.9c/kg, according to the LMC.
Meanwhile, the differential between the R3 heifer price in the North and the EU average narrowed from 37.1c/kg at the beginning of January to 25.2c/kg by the end of the month.
This occurred in a week when the euro increased slightly and was valued at an average of 85.6p.
This was a 4.9c/kg decrease from the 424.5c/kg paid during the week ending January 1.
At the end of January the differential between R3 grade heifer prices in Britain and the EU average narrowed to 36.7c/kg, compared to 44.8c/kg just four weeks beforehand.
British farmers continued to receive stronger prices than their counterparts in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, €96.04 and €32.20 more respectively on a 280kg heifer carcass, figures show.