Cattle prices pick up again

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The deadweight cattle prices showed another upward movement in the week ended 10 April. Similar to the previous week, the GB all-prime average gained just over 3p to reach 399.3p/kg. This is over 70p/kg more than the equivalent week in 2020, when prices began to fall sharply.

The cumulative increases in recent weeks have been significant, and highlight the strength of the cattle trade at present. Keen retail demand continues to be a feature of the market, and still seems to be keeping demand ahead of supplies coming forward. Estimated prime slaughter during the week totalled 30,100 head, 2% lower than the week before and 4% lower than the same week last year. This week contains a bank holiday, so a year-on-year decline would be expected.

It remains to be seen how the ongoing easing of lockdown, with the next stage planned for 17 May, influences British cattle prices in the coming weeks. Strong retail demand is particularly positive for British beef demand, but as the foodservice market reopens, we might reasonably expect more competition from imported beef through these outlets.

England & Wales and Scotland saw similar trends over the past week:

  • E&W Steers: +3.5p to 394.8p/kg
  • Scotland Steers: +2.0p to 414.5p/kg
  • E&W Heifers: +3.6p to 392.9p/kg
  • Scotland Heifers: +3.2p to 417.0p/kg
  • E&W Young Bulls: +5.3p to 386.3p/kg
  • Scotland Young Bulls: +10.7p to 409.2p/kg

The average GB prices were as follows:

  • Overall Steers: +3.1p to 400.2p/kg
  • R4L Steers: +1.9p to 408.8p/kg
  • Overall Heifers: +3.1p to 399.0p/kg
  • R4L Heifers: +1.8p to 408.6p/kg
  • Overall Young Bulls: +7.7p/kg to 392.6p/kg
  • R3 Young Bulls: +6.5p to 400.6p/kg

 

 

By Bethan Wilkins / AHDB

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