Deadweight cattle prices up yet again

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GB finished cattle prices have continued to climb in the latest week. In the week ending 1 May, the GB all prime average stood at 407.3p/kg, up 1.1p on the week before. This puts the measure 87p above the same week last year when prices had fallen sharply, and 67.6p above five-year average.  

Estimated slaughter for the week totalled 34,000 head, up 3.5% (1,200 head) on the previous week, but virtually unchanged (-0.3%) compared to the same week last year.

Looking at retail volumes, GB household beef purchases continue to hold their ground. While retail volumes sold dropped back 4.7% year-on-year in the 12 weeks to 18 April, this is compared to the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, with total beef volumes actually lifting 11% compared to the same period two years ago.

However, as we continue to come out of lockdown and foodservices begin to re-open, some of this demand will undoubtedly shift back out of home, which could lessen demand for British cattle. The impact of this on GB prices is yet to be seen.

Price increases were seen across all prime categories expect young bulls, down 1.5p on the previous week, while R4L steers saw the largest increase (+2.5p) to average 418.4p/kg.

GB deadweight prime cattle price movements (w/e 1 May):

  • All prime: 407.3p/kg up 1.1p
  • Steers (overall): 408.2p/kg up 1.8p
  • Steers (R4L): 418.4p/kg up 2.5p
  • Heifers (overall): 407.3p/kg up 0.7p
  • Young bulls (overall): 399.6p/kg down -1.5p

 

By Bronwyn Magee /AHDB

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