Price gap between Irish and British R3 heifers continues to widen

The price gap between Irish and British R3 heifers has widened further, recent figures from the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) show.

According to the LMC, British R3 heifers made 412.8c/kg during the week ending August 7, just over 26c/kg more than the 386.7c/kg paid for heifers slaughtered in the Republic.

On a 280kg carcass this is a price difference almost €73/head.

Back in the week ending July 1, the price difference between Irish and British heifers stood at 20c/kg, as British producers were paid 408c/kg, while farmers in the Republic received 388c/kg for R3 heifers.

The further widening of this price gap is mainly due to a fall in Irish heifer prices combined with a stronger British beef market.

Last week, the AHDB reported that British R4L steers and heifers passed the 350p/kg mark for the first time this year.

It shows that steers were up 4p/kg on the week earlier to 353p/kg, while heifer prices strengthened by 6p/kg to 352.9p/kg. This brings the total rise in British cattle prices since April to 30p/kg.

Meanwhile, Irish heifer prices had weakened between July 10 and August 7, with figures from the LMC showing a decline of 11.3c/kg over the four-week period.

Northern Irish R3 heifers 8c/kg dearer

Figures from the LMC also show that heifers slaughtered in Northern Ireland were 8c/kg dearer than similar heifers slaughtered south of the border.

During the week ending August 7, the R3 heifer price in Northern Ireland was the equivalent of 394.5c/kg, which placed it in forth place in the EU league price table.

Meanwhile, the R3 heifer price in the Republic was 386.7c/kg, which is a decrease of 11.3c/kg from the 398c/kg paid during the week ending July 10.

This placed Ireland in sixth position on the league price table, sitting behind Sweden, Britain, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland and Italy.

However, it shows that Irish heifer prices were higher than some of the main European beef markets, including France, Spain and Germany.

EU beef price 2
Source: Livestock and Meat Commission