Wednesday, 25 March 2020
By Hannah Clarke
For the week ending 21 March, the all-prime GB deadweight cattle price stood-on from the week before at 335.4p/kg. Estimated prime slaughter was up 1,700 head on the week, to 36,600 head.
Overall, steers averaged 335.7p/kg, up just 0.3p on the week. Those meeting R4L spec averaged 346.9p/kg, unchanged on the week.
Heifers overall averaged 336.7p/kg, down 0.8p on the week, while those of R4L spec remained relatively unchanged on the week at 346.1p/kg.
Young bulls had a more positive week, with the overall price up nearly 5p on the week to average 319.4p/kg. Those of R3 spec averaged 331.8p/kg, up 0.7p from last week.
Cull cow prices rose by nearly 3p on the week to average 237.2p/kg, as estimated slaughter ticked up by 88 head on the week to 10,300 head.
Prices are reportedly holding at present because of heightened retail demand and “panic buying”. However, it is uncertain as to how long this might continue. Reports suggest some more expensive cuts are going into mincers to satisfy retail demand, although forequarter beef that was intended for foodservice has become available too, which has helped retail supplies. While short-term retail demand has been extremely positive, if too much is sold as mince without a rise in price for this product, then this may negatively affect carcase values. However, high mince demand may be offering continued support to cow prices.
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