Prime prices rise, but continual decline in cow prices

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

By Chris Gooderham

Despite a few weeks of minor declines, the GB all prime average cattle price continues to sit at, or around, 410p/kg. This week’s price, for the week ending 23 October, lifted 1.5p compared with the previous week to sit at 409.2p/kg. The rise has reversed the small drops seen over the last fortnight. The premium over the same week last year continues to sit above 40p, at 41.9p/kg.

Prices were largely on the rise across the board, although the overall young bull prices saw a minor decline this week, down 0.1p to 397.3p/kg. The overall heifer price increased strongly, up 2.6p to 409p/kg.

As we move further into the Christmas kill period, estimated kill rose slightly again to 31,300 head, although continues to be low for the time of year. Labour shortages are reported to be the limiting throughputs rather than demand or cattle availability.

Cow prices have moved in the opposite direction, continuing their fall, and dropping 2.3p on the week to 265.3p/kg. That’s the tenth consecutive week of declines and means prices are now 10% down on the highs recorded back in mid August. High feed prices as we move into the winter housing period is likely to mean cow availability is high. Processor demand for cows is likely to remain lower until Christmas prime kill is finished

Image of staff member Chris Gooderham

Chris Gooderham

Science and Environment Director

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