Farming News - GB prime cattle prices continue upward trajectory

GB prime cattle prices continue upward trajectory

Prime cattle prices rose across the board in the latest reporting week, despite an increase in throughputs compared with last week.

In the week ending 31 July, the GB all-prime average deadweight cattle price rose by 1.0p to average 405.1p/kg. This is up 38.6p on the price for the same week a year ago.

Throughput of prime heifers, steers and young bulls at British abattoirs was estimated to be 32,100 head for the week. This was 6% higher than the week before, but still down on the same week last year (-2%).

Although year-to-date prime cattle kill is down on last year (-3%) we mustn’t forget how unusual 2020 was. 2021 slaughter so far is estimated at 989k head. This is slightly above the levels recorded in each of the years from 2016 to 2019, and is, therefore, also above the 5 year average, albeit by only 0.3%.

GB deadweight prime cattle price movements (w/e 31 July):          

All prime:                      405.1p/kg        up 1.0p           

Steers (overall):            406.4p/kg        up 1.2p           

Steers (R4L):                 415.1p/kg        up 1.2p           

Heifers (overall):           405.2p/kg        up 1.2p           

Young bulls (overall):   399.9p/kg        up 0.8p           

Overall cull cow prices fell back this week, down 1.4p to average 292.4p/kg. Prices have been at, or around, the 292p/kg mark for four weeks now. Cows of -O4L spec did show an increase, up 2.4p to 314.4p/kg. Cow kill at GB abattoirs was estimated to be 10,100 head during the week. While this is up 7% on the week before, it is down -3% on the same week last year. For the year-to-date, estimated cow slaughter stands at 301k head, down 5% on the same period in 2020. Unlike prime slaughter, cow slaughter is also down on 2019 (-5%) and the 5 year average (-3%).