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.


Hannah Clarke

Analyst - Livestock

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