UK cattle trade steadies for the first time since March – AHDB

UK beef cattle prices fell slightly last week, as the market shows some signs of steadying for the first time since March, according to the AHDB.

British cattle prices were down less that 1p/kg last week to 309.8p/kg, figures from the AHDB show, as the downward pressure on finished cattle prices appears to have eased.

Prices have been under pressure since Christmas, with prices back by 20p/kg, falling to the lowest price base in five years.

The AHDB reports that lower steer prices were the main reason for last week’s 1p/kg fall, as overall steer prices lost just over 1p/kg to make 310.8p/kg.

However, despite the fall in steer prices, the young bull and heifer market only fell slightly last week, with these lots making 312.7p/kg and 292.6p/kg respectively.

The AHDB also report that the queues that formed at some beef plants in the last few weeks have eased, which will allow for further steadiness in the market.

Over the past couple of weeks, the number of cattle slaughtered in Britain jumped by 34,000 head or 7%, leading to queues to form at a number of beef plants.

AHDB

 

The AHDB also reported that cow prices continued to improve, with the overall average up by almost 2p/kg to 198.1p/kg.

The trade continues to be helped by a more favourable exchange rate making product from these animals appear more attractive for export.

However, the AHDB reports that British cow prices are 30p/kg lower than the corresponding time in 2015.