Stronger cattle prices draw out prime supplies

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

In the week ending 20 June, deadweight cattle prices recorded another week of gains. The GB all-prime average price posted a more modest 2.1p increase on the week to 360.5p/kg, following larger rises in recent weeks.

Prime cattle supplies have picked up slightly, attracted by the higher prices, but also perhaps by farmers looking to take the pressure off available grazing. Prime slaughter in British abattoirs was estimated to be 35,250 head, 500 more than last week, and 2,600 head more than the same week last year. Market reports suggest processors are well booked for next week and so price rises could slow further in the short term.

Prime price movements for the week ending 20 June:

  • Steers (overall): 360.4p/kg, up 2.3p
  • Steers (R4L): 373.4p/kg, up 1.4p
  • Heifers (overall): 361.1p/kg, up 1.4p
  • Heifers (R4L): 373.0p/kg, up 2.4p
  • Young bulls (overall): 358.9p/kg, up 3.8p
  • Young bulls (R4L): 362.1p/kg, down 2.1p

Deadweight cow prices also rose again, by 2.1p on the week to average 259.4p/kg overall. Cows meeting the -O4L spec performed even better, up 4p to 274.0p/kg. Estimated cow slaughter stood at 11,800 head for the week, down around 600 head on a week earlier.

Duncan Wyatt

Lead Analyst - Red Meat

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