Prime cattle throughputs fell by 6,000 head in June, compared with the month before, but remained broadly unchanged on June last year, at 150,000 head.

Steer throughputs increased by 6% on the year, to 73,000 head, while young bull throughputs fell 10% to 25,000. “In a change to recent developments, heifer throughputs declined, falling 3% on the year (to 52,000), possibly signalling that supplies are starting to tighten,” said a report by Eblex. Adult cattle throughputs were again lower at 39,000 head.

“A 3% rise in beef and veal production was driven by higher carcass weights, as the better conditions continued to have a positive impact on finishing,” it added. Production in the year to date was up by 2% to 438,000t.

Lamb slaughterings increased by 8% on the year to 907,000 head, according to Defra’s figures. “This partly comes as the UK lamb crop is expected to have been considerably larger than it was a year ago after a much better season,” said the Eblex report. “Additionally, better conditions and good grass growth will have allowed quicker finishing of lambs meaning that they are also being marketed earlier.”