Beef market holds steady

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With retail demand under pressure as consumers face a cost of living squeeze, Cedric Porter takes a look at the market for beef in the UK.

Tight supplies at home and abroad were supporting the market for beef with prices holding up well ahead of year earlier levels.

In the week to June 18, the GB average prime cattle auction price was 254.19p/kg liveweight, 13 per cent up on the same week last year and one of the highest prices on record, according to AHDB. In deadweight terms, the GB steer price was 441.6p/kg, 13 per cent up on the year before.

May slaughtering of all beef animals was 8.8 per cent higher than May last year, with increases in steer, heifer, young bull and cow throughputs, Defra figures show. However, the number of animals slaughtered in the first five months of the year has risen by less than 1 per cent and beef and veal output in volume terms was only 0.2 per cent higher during the January to May period at 374,900 tonnes.

An increase in beef imports point to greater supply of beef this year. In the January to April period the UK imported 100,866t of beef, which was 25 per cent more than the first four months of last year.

Cedric Porter / Farmers Guardian


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