- news, features, articles and disease information for the beef industry

AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly

05 August 2013

EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 2 August 2013EBLEX Cattle Weekly - 2 August 2013

Lid stays on cattle prices

In week ended 27 July, at 394.1p/kg the GB all prime cattle indicator was back another 2p on the week. Trade again responded to reports of subdued domestic consumer demand as the weather remained fine. AHDB/EBLEX estimates suggest that slaughterings were broadly similar to last week. Going forward, they are expected to fall with harvest on the horizon and young bull supply slowing after its peak period in the past couple of months. Hovering around the 400p/kg mark, prices are still around 50p ahead of year earlier levels.

The cow trade eased for the second consecutive week. The GB -04L cow price has eased 10p per kg over the past fortnight to average 286.9p/kg in week ended 27 July, although this still remains around 20p/kg ahead of year earlier levels. Intelligence suggests that a large quantity of Polish beef has been on offer at discounted prices on the continent, affecting export demand.

It is reported that, under pressure from animal rights activists, the Polish Parliament has banned the practice of ritual slaughter. The Polish beef industry is very export dependent, with trade accounting for over 80% of production. Its beef is among the cheapest in the EU and an immediate result of the ban appears to have been a surge in displaced beef which would previously have been sold onto markets across the Middle East. Talks are ongoing in Poland in an attempt to resolve the situation which may curb the destabilising effect on trade.

Barbecue opportunities boost beef burger and grill sales

According to the latest Kantar Worldpanel data, in the four weeks to July 7 the improved weather and opportunity for barbecues has helped improve sales performance of burgers and grills, which were up 29% on the year. Despite this uplift, overall volume sales of fresh and frozen beef were back 8% compared with the same period last year. A combination of fewer households purchasing beef and a reduction in the average amount bought per shopping trip contributed to lower volumes. In addition, consumer demand for some higher priced cuts appears to have been subdued in response to the fine weather. In particular, purchases of roasting joints were back 17% on the year. Frying and grilling steaks also struggled, as a reduced number of price promotions resulted in higher prices.

In the 52 weeks to 7 July consumer spending on beef continued to be ahead of year earlier levels on the back of robust demand and higher prices. At £2.1 billion it was up 4% year on year.

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