Store prices ease for both sheep and cattle

Friday, 14 October 2022


While finished lamb prices have remained similar to year-ago levels over the last month, the store market has seen more price pressure.

Graph showing GB store sheep prices

In the four weeks ending 1 October, new season store lambs averaged £70/head through GB marts, back 5% (-£4/head) from the price recorded during the same period a year ago. This is  still 8% (£5/head) above the same week in 2020, and up further on the five-year average of £58/head.

Store lamb auction prices typically soften around now before picking up towards the end of the year, reflecting trends in the finished market and numbers of store lambs coming forwards. Looking at numbers, fewer store lambs were sold through marts in July-August compared to a year ago. However, this was balanced by higher throughput in September (specifically the 4 weeks ending 1 October), which saw 10% more store lambs sold than last year. From the week ending 5 June through to 1 October, the number of store lambs sold in GB remained largely unchanged versus the same period in 2021 (-0.3%).


GB store cattle prices have also generally eased over recent weeks compared to year-ago levels, not maintaining the rate of year-on-year growth seen in the finished market. Despite this, prices remain above five-year averages. Pressure has been felt particularly in prices for younger animals, potentially reflecting concerns about longer-term keep costs. Thinking further ahead still, prices for rearing calves have shown particular pressure over recent months.

Looking at throughputs, numbers began picking up week-on-week at the end of July, particularly for 18-month-old animals. Despite this, numbers remained generally below 2021 levels across all age groups in August. This trend continued in September for yearlings and 18-month old stores, while numbers of 2-year old stores have moved back above 2021 levels in recent weeks.

Graph showing GB continental store steer price vs 5yr average

Graph showing average GB rearing bull calf prices

Sign up for regular updates

You can subscribe to receive Beef and Lamb market news straight to your inbox. Simply fill in your contact details on our online form.

Visit the Keep in touch page

While AHDB seeks to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect of the information and data provided. You are responsible for how you use the information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHDB accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused or suffered (including that caused by negligence) directly or indirectly in relation to the information or data provided in this publication.

All intellectual property rights in the information and data on this webpage belong to or are licensed by AHDB. You are authorised to use such information for your internal business purposes only and you must not provide this information to any other third parties, including further publication of the information, or for commercial gain in any way whatsoever without the prior written permission of AHDB for each third party disclosure, publication or commercial arrangement. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Notice or contact the Director of Corporate Affairs at  © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. All rights reserved.