Cull cow prices follow seasonal trend

Thursday, 27 February 2020

By Jennie Tanner

The price of cull cows has been following its usual seasonal trend, rising as the demand for manufacturing beef increases in the early part of the year, and the demand for prime animals reduces after Christmas.  

Estimated cull cow slaughtering numbers are down on last year, though higher carcase weights are balancing the reduction in numbers. In the year to 22 Feb, an estimated 85,100 cows have been slaughtered, 4,650 fewer than at the same point last year.

The latest AHDB Outlook is for a reduction in available numbers of cows for slaughter due to a contraction in the breeding herd. The current stability in milk prices may keep some dairy cows in the dairy herd rather than moving them on. Therefore the lower slaughter numbers may be expected to continue, although this may continue to be balanced by higher carcase weights given the good supplies of forage harvested in the summer.

Jennie Tanner

Analyst - Dairy & Livestock

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