UK prime cattle prices continue to remain under pressure, as factory buyers have no problems in finding suitable cattle for slaughter, according to the AHDB (the organisation for English beef and lamb).

Prime cattle prices in the UK for the week ending April 23 continued to fall, with the overall prime cattle average price back by almost 3p/kg on the previous week to 310.6p/kg.

Last week's fall in UK cattle prices means that a 280kg R3 UK heifer carcass is now €5.60 cheaper than a similar heifer slaughtered in Ireland, as UK R3 heifers are now 2c/kg cheaper than Irish heifers.

The AHDB reports that UK cattle processors are able to source more than sufficient supplies of prime cattle to prevent any change in the direction of the trade.

It shows that there has been some ease in the UK R4L steer price, which eased by 2p/kg to 322.4p/kg last week.

UK young bull prices also declined by 4p/kg to an average of 293p/kg, but R3 young bulls only dropped slightly by 2p/kg to 308.3p/kg during the week ending April 23.

Cows may be substituted for UK prime beef

According to the AHDB, cows are becoming increasingly attractive as a product to replace prime beef in the UK.

Despite the fall in UK steer, heifer and young bull price last week, cull cows bucked the trend, increasing by 2p/kg to 196.4p/kg.

It shows that UK cow prices have held their ground against declining prime cattle prices and the price differential between prime cattle and cows has narrowed significantly since the beginning of this year.

UK prime cattle