Prime cattle price ticks up, cows fall

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

By Hannah Clarke

In the week ending 28 March, the all-prime GB deadweight cattle price ticked up by 0.7p to average 336.1p/kg, following two weeks of flat prices. Estimated prime slaughter was down 1,300 head on the week to 35,300 head*. However, throughout March, kill numbers have been running above year earlier levels.

Overall, steers averaged 337.0p/kg, up 1.3p on the week. Those achieving R4L spec rose by a penny to average 347.9p/kg.

Heifers overall averaged 336.6p/kg, slipping by 0.1p on the week. The average price for R4L heifers stood-on from last week at 346.1p/kg.

Young bulls slipped by 0.1p overall to average 319.3p/kg. Animals of R3 and R4L spec both fell by 1.6p on the week to average 330.2p/kg and 325.8p/kg, respectively.

Strong demand for mince and potential lost sales of roasting joints around Mothering Sunday / Easter due to fewer family gatherings may continue to compromise carcase balance. 

Meanwhile, cull cow prices suffered amid reports of falling demand from foodservice / fast food outlets. The overall price tumbled by 6.4p on the week to settle at 230.8p/kg. Those of -O4L spec fell by 6.7p to average 249.1p/kg. Estimated slaughter was up 300 head on the week to 10,600 head*.

*estimated slaughter figures should be treated with caution, as more animals than usual may have been sold deadweight, given the temporary disruption to some live markets.


Image of staff member Hannah Clarke

Hannah Clarke

Analyst - Livestock

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