Prime prices tread water, cows take a dip

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

GB deadweight prime cattle prices continued to hold out in the week ending 4 July, while cow prices fell for the first time in three months.

The all-prime average price came in at 361.2p/kg for the week, up half a penny on the week before. Slaughter at British abattoirs was estimated at 34,400 head, virtually unchanged from the previous week, but 3,300 head higher than in the same week last year.

Overall, steers (+1.5p) had a better week for prices than heifers and young bulls, which fell by 0.4p and 1.9p overall on the week, respectively.

Prime cattle price movements (w/e 4 July):

  • Steers (overall): 361.4p/kg, up 1.5p
  • Steers (R4L): 374.8p/kg, up 2.0p
  • Heifers (overall): 361.9p/kg, down 0.4p
  • Heifers (R4L): 373.1p/kg, up 0.4p
  • Young bulls (overall): 357.6p/kg, down 1.9p
  • Young bulls (R4L): 364.9p/kg, down 2.0p

Cull cow prices fell by 1.6p to average 259.1p/kg, as estimated slaughter rose by 800 head to 11,500 head for the week. This is the first fall in deadweight cow prices for about three months. However, the measure is still currently the highest it has been at this time of year in at least the last six years.

Reports suggest that prime supplies are sufficient at present, and some coronavirus-induced factory closures have increased supplies for others. Unsettled, colder weather will have also likely dampened BBQ demand.

Hannah Clarke

Analyst - Livestock

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