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AHDB Cattle and Sheep Weekly

21 November 2014

EBLEX Cattle Weekly 21 November 2014EBLEX Cattle Weekly 21 November 2014

Cattle Weekly

Further gains in the cattle trade

In week ended 15 November, the GB all prime deadweight cattle average price edged up another 2p on the week, to reach 351.9p/kg. As demand picks up ahead of Christmas, this increase in price comes despite AHDB/EBLEX estimated slaughterings indicating 600 head more prime cattle were marketed than in the previous week.


Whilst the overall GB average deadweight steer price increased 2p, steers falling within the R4L specification were up 4p on the week to 365.9p/kg. With robust demand for product fitting supermarket requirements, they are now trading at their highest point since April, although still some way behind year earlier levels. Following some weakening in October, for the second consecutive week young bull prices moved up. At 337.3p/kg R3 young bulls were 3p dearer on the week and have moved up 6p over the past three weeks. Reports suggest that pricing penalties for young bulls over 16 months are still in place and therefore bulls need to be marketed at the right time to avoid this.

The cow trade continued to ease, following last week’s modest correction. In the latest week, at 205.1p/kg, the overall average was down 3p on the week. Despite this, quality cows are still meeting robust demand from processors. At auction marts, in week ended 19 November, the price of Grade 1 cull cows was up 2p on the week at 133.5p/kg.

Calf Registrations a Fraction up in 2014 so Far

Calf registrations in the first nine months of the year are up just under 1%, or 20,500 head, on the year. While data for the first quarter gave an indication that the declining trend in beef-sired registrations wascontinuing, numbers since have been higher, compared with last year. While some increases in specific breed registrations could point to modest positivity in the beef sector, the fractional increase in overall numbers is unlikely to have any significant impact on production levels over the medium term. More details are available on the EBLEX website. UK beef and veal exports perform well in September Latest data from HMRC indicates that UK beef and veal imports in September were above year earlier levels again at 23,400 tonnes, largely on the back of a significant uplift in product from Ireland.

The unit value of Irish product continued to be cheaper year on year, down 6% to £3,530 per tonne. Shipments from the Netherlands were also up on the year, while they were lower from many of the smaller suppliers. Exports performed well again - increased production in the month meant that shipments to all the UK’s main destinations were higher. Despite the unit value of exports being back overall, the value of the export trade was still up 11% to £32.9 million.

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