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AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly

10 November 2014

EBLEX Cattle Weekly 7 November 2014EBLEX Cattle Weekly 7 November 2014

Cattle Weekly

No end to stability in the cattle trade

In the latest week ended 1 November, the GB all prime deadweight average price was unchanged on the week at 348.7p/kg. AHDB/EBLEX slaughtering estimates indicate that throughputs were at a similar level to a week earlier, contributing to the balance in the trade. Despite this levelling, reports still suggest that demand remained robust, in particular for the better finished animals, as some processors are already in the market for supplies of quality beef in readiness for their Christmas trade. While the overall GB deadweight average steer price levelled at 349.9p/kg, R4L steers gained 2p on the week to 362.0p/kg.

The cull cow trade has been on a declining trend in recent weeks. Despite estimates indicating fewer cows were marketed in the latest week, compared to the week before, the overall GB deadweight cull cow price declined 7p to 206.5p/kg. While this movement is the seasonal norm, more cows have come forward in October ahead of winter housing. This has had an impact on price, a trend likely to continue for the remainder of the year as some processors switch attention to Under Thirty Month cattle ahead of Christmas. Producer share of retail price highest since April Latest figures for October indicate that producers received almost 51% of the final retail price of beef. This was 2% more compared with a month earlier, on the back of an increase in the average farmgate price against declining retail prices. The gap has now widened in producers favour for the third consecutive month. This is the first time since April that the producer share was above 50%. However, while offering better news for producers, the measure is still significantly back on the 57% share producers were receiving in the corresponding month last year. However, this was at a time when farmgate prices were influenced by the robust demand for British beef on the back of the Horsegate revelations.

 The month-on-month fall in retail prices is the result of price reductions across most cuts. Only premium mince prices were unchanged. Braising steak prices fell most significantly, back 7% on the month, while the price of standard mince was back 5%. However, year-on-year comparisons across the different cuts indicate a more mixed picture. Both premium and standard mince prices are significantly higher, while braising steak, topside, sirloin and rump steak all recorded lower retail prices than in October 2013. 


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