Mixed movements on GB deadweight cattle markets

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

By Felicity Rusk

Movements on GB prime deadweight markets were relatively mixed in the week ending 25 January. Overall, the GB all-prime average rose by 1.0p/kg on the week, to average 331.8p/kg. Prices still remain well below last year (-18.2p/kg) and the five-year average (-18.3p/kg).

However, price movements were considerably more varied between categories.

GB deadweight prices and weekly changes for the week ending 25 January:

  • R4L steers: ↓8p to 342.3p/kg
  • R4L heifers: ↓3p to 342.1p/kg
  • Overall young bulls: ↑8.3p to 312.0p/kg

Prices for cattle meeting the R3 and R4L specifications declined on the week, with the exception of R3 steers (+1p). However, overall price for steers increased by 1.5p on the week, which suggests that cattle outside of the R3 and R4L specifications increased the overall average. In contrast, the overall heifer price declined by 0.5p on the week, to stand at 332.6p/kg.  

Estimated slaughter was back by 4% on the week (-1,300 head). This decline was due to a 10% decline (-1,350 head) in heifer throughputs, though an uplift of steer throughputs compensated somewhat. Throughputs were almost 5% lower (-1,600 head) than the same week last year.


Demand for cull cows was more positive, typical for this time of the year. Overall cow prices averaged 226.6p/kg, 3.2p higher than last week. Meanwhile, movements were even more positive for cows meeting the –O4L specification, which increased by 4.0p on the week, to average 243.8p/kg. Throughputs were slightly higher than last week (+100 head), at 12,700 head.  

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