Weekly cattle & sheep market wrap - 09 May 2024

Thursday, 9 May 2024

Prices for week ending 04 May 2024

Key points

  • Deadweight prime cattle prices remain stable, as average cow prices continue to gain strength.
  • GB deadweight old season lamb price dropped from last week, the largest decline seen this year.
  • The first week of reported deadweight NSL prices show growth of 195p compared to last year, to 915p/kg.
  • GB estimated lamb slaughtering’s increased on the week but remain behind the pace compared to last year.


GB deadweight prime prices saw stability for the week ending 04 May, with a minor increase of 0.1p to 485.5p/kg for the all-prime average. This marks the fourth week in a row of stable prime prices. There was weekly growth of 0.9p to 485.3p/kg for overall heifers, 0.1p to 473.4p/kg for overall young bulls, with declines of 0.4p to 487p/kg for overall steers.

Looking regionally, Southern and Central average steer prices saw growth on the week compared to Northern and Scottish prices which saw downward pressure. Average heifer prices saw similar movements across the regions.

Overall cow prices were elevated compared to the previous week, sitting at 361.3p/kg, growth of 2.8p. This is, however, a fall of 22.3p from the same week in 2023. Prices may have seen uplift due to slightly fewer throughputs and elevated demand as we come into barbecue season, with demand for grilling products a key item.

GB prime estimated slaughtering’s fell by 700 head to 34,000 head for the week ending 04 May. Cull cow slaughtering’s continued the weekly trend, with a fall of 100 head to 8,300 head, this is the lowest 5-day week since the beginning of January.


GB deadweight OSL SQQ prices fell on the week to 825p/kg. This is a fall of 25p on the week and represents the largest fall we have seen year to date. Prices still remain elevated compared to the same time last year, up by 156p/kg.

This week is the first update of new season lamb prices, which indicates significant strength, sitting at 915p/kg. This is growth of 195p from the same week in 2023. GB estimated NSL sample sat at 2,660 head in 2024. This is the highest opening NSL price seen, as our updated lamb outlook for 2024 suggests that new season lambs will be slower to come forward, supporting the new season price as supplies remain tight.

GB estimated lamb slaughter grew compared to last week, up to 163,400 head. This was growth of just over 20,000 head on the week (+14%), with a decline of 25,000 head (-13%) from the same week in 2023.

Elsewhere on the international market, French wholesale prices on the Rungis market have stabilised this week, following slight declines in previous weeks but remain historically high. The EU-short term outlook indicates that lamb consumption across the EU is set to fall across the year, from high retail prices and pressured supplies.

Closer to home, commentary suggests that procurement for Qurbani and Eid-Al Adha has begun, with quotes seen for lamb carcases around 20% higher than in 2023, indicating tight supplies have impacted procurement.

Image of staff member Izzy Shohet

Izzy Shohet

Analyst (Red Meat)

See full bio

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