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

AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly

28 October 2014

EBLEX Cattle and Sheep Weekly 28 October 2014EBLEX Cattle and Sheep Weekly 28 October 2014

Cattle Weekly

In week ended 18 October, the cattle trade stabilised amid reports suggesting that the market for both commercial and cattle fitting specific supermarket schemes was finely balanced. Despite numbers seemingly increasing on the week, the all prime deadweight average levelled at 349.4p/kg.

 This broad stability continues to reflect a more positive trading environment in which the all prime average has strengthened by more than 20p/kg since the start of August. With throughputs over the period up around 15,000 head, this price rise has evidently come as demand has improved. This means the supply and demand balance has consistently been in producers’ favour, with processors looking to secure adequate supplies of cattle. The situation could be maintained as the peak seasonal buying period approaches. Higher cull cow marketings over the past couple of weeks have resulted in supplies running ahead of demand and consequently prices have eased. At 235.1p/kg in the latest week, the –O4L average has fallen 6p over the past fortnight. Numbers forward are likely to remain high in the short term as producers take stock of their herds ahead of winter housing.

Beef and Veal Production up Again in September

UK prime cattle slaughterings in September were up 1% on the year, to 151,300 head. With significant increases in all regions of the UK, steer slaughterings were up over 10% on the year to 79,400 head. This represented the highest September steer throughput since 2011. In contrast, heifer numbers tracked below year earlier levels, being back 2% at 53,600 head.


 The overall increase in slaughterings is consistent with the recent UK cattle population report from Defra, which showed more cattle over two years of age on the ground in June. Young bull throughputs were back almost a quarter on the year at 18,300 head. The penalties for bulls not meeting supermarket specification will have discouraged many producers from this type of production, especially when cereal costs were higher last year. Adult cattle throughputs were back 5% on the year to 46,100 head.

The better conditions have once again had a positive influence on carcase weights for all types of cattle and consequently on production levels. With the higher steer numbers, UK beef and veal production from prime cattle for the month was up 3%, or 1,500 tonnes, on the year to 52,400 tonnes. At 15,000 tonnes, production from adult cattle was back just 3% year on year, as the higher weights mitigated lower throughputs. As a result, total beef and veal production was up 2% on the year at 67,900 tonnes. This takes year to date production to 582,000 tonnes, up almost 4% on the first nine months of 2013.

DOWNLOAD REPORT:- Download this report here


Seasonal Picks

Managing Pig Health: A Reference for the Farm - 2nd Edition