Mixed week for deadweight cattle prices

There was a small drop in the GB all-prime average deadweight cattle price for week ending 5 February, down 0.6p to 405.1p/kg. Despite this drop, the all-prime price is still 28.3p above the same week a year ago and 52.4p above the 5-year average.

Although steers and heifers’ prices dropped again this week by 0.9p and 0.6p respectively, the price for young bulls increased by 0.5p to 388.9p/kg. The price for cull cows has been steadily increasing since mid-December, up 3.5p this week to 278.2p/kg, highest value since September 2021.

050222 GB prime cattle price

Estimated prime cattle slaughter increased to 31,000 head this week, 3.7% higher than the week before, but 9% lower than a year ago. The estimated cull cow slaughter dropped by 5.4% this week to 10,400 head, sittings 15% lower than at the same time last year.

 

By Freya Shuttleworth / AHDB

Small English Town Poised to Become Europe’s Fake-Meat Capital

(Bloomberg) — Surrounded by some of England’s most fertile farmland, the small town of Boston will become Europe’s fake-meat capital next month with the opening of a giant factory making plant-based burgers and sausages.

Plant & Bean Ltd.’s new factory, the largest in Europe, will eventually churn out 55,000 tons a year of alternative protein products. That will provide the faux-meat industry with the scale to narrow the price and quality gap with conventional meat products, according to Chief Executive Officer Edwin Bark.

“We need to reduce the cost and that comes by increasing scale,” Bark said in an interview. “The gap with animal meat is really too big in key markets. You can completely understand that for families to buy plant-based products regularly is still a challenge.”

Alternative-protein demand has boomed in recent years as climate change and health concerns drive consumers to products like fake burgers or nuggets. The industry has attracted huge venture-capital investment, while food giants from McDonald’s Corp. to Nestle SA are rolling out their own product ranges. Still, sales remain a fraction of the $1.4 trillion global meat market.