British cattle trade continues its march upwards

With notable competition from British processors for cattle meeting supermarket specification against another week of tight supplies, the cattle trade in Britain has found some added impetus.

According to the AHDB, in recent days deadweight cattle prices increased across the board which resulted in the all-prime average increasing by a further 3p on the week to average 338.4p/kg (€393c/kg).

It says all types of prime cattle saw prices increase for steers and heifers, those meeting R4L specification increased notably.

Steers were up 4p on the week earlier to 353.0p/kg (410c/kg) while heifers strengthened by 6p, taking them to 352.9p/kg (408c/kg).

This is the first time that prices for these in-specification cattle have been above 350p this year, having increased around 30p/kg since late April.

This continues to reflect that the ongoing balance in the trade remains firmly in producers’ favour and the AHDB says that processors are having to compete intensely to secure the supplies they require.

Meanwhile, the demand for young bulls in recent weeks has also appeared to be quite robust despite estimates indicating that numbers coming forward through July were ahead of last year. In the latest week, R3 young bulls moved up over a penny on the week earlier to average 336.9p/kg.


According to the AHDB, at 27,900 head, estimates suggest that the number of cattle coming forward was down 1,500 head on the week earlier and notably back on the year for the sixth week in a row. Steer throughputs were estimated to be 400 head down week on week and heifer numbers back 600 head.

Cow trade

The cow trade was also relatively firm again, the AHDB says -O4L cows strengthened another penny to 238.8p/kg, again against a backdrop of increased week-on-week marketings.

Estimates suggest that, at 9,600 head, 500 more cows came forward compared to the week earlier, which was a similar evolution to the previous week.

According to the AHDB, this is possibly an indication of the start of the seasonal increase in cow throughputs, although, given that the weak value of the pound against the euro will be continuing to add some momentum to the cow trade, producers may well be encouraged to actively market their cows.