Beef market monthly update: October 2023

Thursday, 23 November 2023


GB deadweight cattle prices varied throughout October. The all-prime average price started the month at 479.2p/kg and stabilised before a slight drop of around 2.5p for the last two weeks. Overall cow prices fell with some large drops through the month, down by 30p throughout the month to end at 298.1p/kg in the final week.


Fertiliser costs remained below last year’s levels in October but have moved sideways in recent months, as prices remain historically high for this point in the season. This is partly due to increased natural gas prices as unrest in the Middle East continues. Similarly, fuel prices have risen for October but remain below high levels seen last year. As with fertiliser prices, ongoing tensions in the Middle East have driven up crude oil prices.


Beef production rose in October, as we begin to see kill increase to meet Christmas demand. Production grew to 82,100 tonnes, still down slightly on last year as we see some tightness in the supply chain. Similarly, prime slaughter was up on the month to 181,000 head, but down 2% on the year.


Fresh and frozen beef imports have remained steady for September, with a marginal increase on the month, and marginal declines on the year. Beef exports have continued the trend of lower volumes compared to last year, as high domestic prices and lacklustre demand on the continent limits our export opportunities.

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