Beef Prices

Current Beef Market:

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 6, 2019

POOR DEMAND FOR BEEF INCREASING CARCASE WEIGHTS

Poor retail demand is a significant driver behind low beef prices at the moment, but could it also be having an effect on carcase specification?

In the past few months, poorer demand has led to a build-up of cattle supply and increased waiting times to get cattle booked into abattoirs. This has raised carcase weights across the board.

The June average carcase weight from Defra was reported as 358kg, over 5kg heavier than last year.

Weights have been consistently higher all year. Looking in more detail at carcase weights, it is clear to see that in 2019, more cattle are heading towards to top end of the weight banding, with typical limits for abattoirs being between 400-420kg.

Similarly, there has been a slight change in grades during Q2 as well. Overall, there have been slightly fewer carcases hitting the 3 and 4L specification, with these cattle seemingly pushing into the 4H bracket. However, the conformation of grades has generally been improving.

The number of cattle grading R and O+ has increased, while lower value grades has decreased. There has been a slight decrease in number meeting the top end grades. Improving conformation is essential to ensure that cattle receive the best possible returns.

AHDB

Tom Forshaw

Head
Neck
Neck This cut is generally sold as stewing steak. Long and slow cooking will release a good flavour and produce a good tasty gravy or sauce. View Meat Cut
Chuck
Chuck & Blade This cut is often sold as braising steak, a little tenderer than stewing steak, and can be ideally used in casseroles, stews and for braising. Blade steak is also sometimes known as “flatiron steak” View Meat Cut
Thick Rib
Thick Rib Typically sold as braising steak. This cut is somewhat tenderer than stewing steak and is ideal for use in casseroles, stews and for braising. View Meat Cut
Clod
Clod This is an economical cut that is a flavourful, but is a much less tender meat. Cut from the middle of the shoulder this is usually sold as stewing steak or used in burgers. This cut is suitable for slow cooking in stews. View Meat Cut
Fore Rib
Fore Rib sold ‘boned and rolled’, ‘French trimmed’ or ‘on the bone’, has good marbling throughout the flesh and has excellent fat cover on the outside making for a superb roast. This can also be cut into steak ‘Ribeye’s’, ideal for grilling, frying or barbecuing. View Meat Cut
Thin Rib
Thin Rib A very dense and wholesome cut often used for mince. It is the equivalent of a spare rib and absolutely delicious served glazed. View Meat Cut
Shin
Shin Generally sold as stewing steak it is best suited for long, slow cooking to breakdown the high proportion of connective tissues and denser fibres, it also makes for thick sauces and gravy View Meat Cut
Leg
Leg Generally sold as stewing steak it is best suited for long, slow cooking to breakdown the high proportion of connective tissues and denser fibres, it also makes for thick sauces and gravy View Meat Cut
Sirloin
Sirloin This is typically sold boned and rolled. A prime cut, which is perfect for a classic Sunday roast. Sirloin steak is taken from the same area but is cut into steaks such as ‘T’-bone, Porterhouse and Entrecote. These are prime cuts, which are suitable for grilling, frying, stir-fries and barbecuing. View Meat Cut
Thin Flank
Thin flank meat from this area is often known as ‘skirt’, ‘hanger steak’ (or ‘onglet’ in France). It has plenty of fat marbling making it moist and flavoursome. This cut is often used in Mexican recipes such as Fajitas. This cut is good for grilling, frying or barbecuing. View Meat Cut
Brisket
Brisket Usually sold ‘boned and rolled’, and sometimes salted. This joint is suitable for slow cooking or pot roasting. Brisket is the cut traditionally used for making corned beef; it is also used for lean mince. View Meat Cut
Rump
Rump Although this is a prime cut, it’s often cheaper than fillet or sirloin, because it’s not quite as tender. However many say that it has a far superior flavour than sirloin or fillet. Rump is suitable for quick cooking such as frying, stir-fry, grilling and barbecuing. View Meat Cut
Top side silverside
Siverside & Topside Silverside was traditionally salted and sold as a boiling joint for salt beef. This very lean piece of meat is now most often sold unsalted as a joint for roasting; regular basting is recommended during the cooking process. Topside is also a very lean joint and often has a layer of fat tied around it to help baste and keep it moist. This is also suitable for cutting into steaks to fry, grill or use in stir-fries. View Meat Cut
Thick Flank
Thick Flank This joint is also known as ‘top rump’ good for slow roasting as a joint or braised in pieces. This can also be sold as stir fry strips or flash fry steak. View Meat Cut
Leg
Leg Generally sold as stewing steak it is best suited for long, slow cooking to breakdown the high proportion of connective tissues and denser fibres, it also makes for thick sauces and gravy. View Meat Cut
Leg
Leg Generally sold as stewing steak it is best suited for long, slow cooking to breakdown the high proportion of connective tissues and denser fibres, it also makes for thick sauces and gravy. View Meat Cut