Beef prices in market dip…
BEEF prices dipped by between 3-7p/kg at auction markets on Wednesday with nervous buyers being warned to hang fire until the governments latest news had sunk in.
While trade for steers and heifers eased, cull cow prices remained reasonably bullish, though auctioneers admitted the future looked very uncertain.
Auctioneer David Brettell, of Barber and Son, said trade at Market Drayton had eased by up to 7p/kg, with both steers and heifers averaging 109p/kg.
Norman Bagley, auctioneer for Ripon Farmers Livestock Market, condemned the government for allowing misinformation to be leaked to the media. "The beef trade has gone through enough trouble already with BSE without this," he said.
Prices eased by 2-3p/kg at a busy Ripon market, where 383 cattle were entered. Steers averaged 122.7p/kg, while heifers were 121.35p/kg.
Beef trade at Holsworthy slipped but trade remained strong with steers averaging 114.3p/kg and heifers 110.6/kg.
Keith Sanders, of auctioneers Kivells, said he had been pleased with the cull cow trade, which had held up well to average 82p/kg. "Opinion beforehand looked as if we would have a poor trade but we were fortunate."
Robert Addison, partner with Harrison and Hetherington at Carlisle market, said cull cow trade had fallen back from a top recently of 86p/kg to 80p/kg, but feared it could slip further.
"What really matters is the next two or three days," he said.
• Supermarket chiefs were due to meet farm minister Douglas Hogg as FARMERS WEEKLY went to press. But they declined to comment on any likely action in the wake of the governments announcement.