Tuesday, 13 January, 1998

By FWi staff

FINISHED cattle prices are unlikely to climb much above 100pkg over the next two years, according to a new report released this week.

And UK beef farmers will continue to feel severe pressure during the next six months.

This months Beef Management briefing from the Meat & Livestock Commission warns producers that delayed marketing in the hope of getting better prices for finished cattle is often misguided.

Any increase in margins from delayed marketing can be wiped out unless market prices rise significantly. And the report forecasts that any price increase is unlikely in the near future.

But farmers can adopt positive action to limit losses and ensure a profitable future for the British beef industry, MLC consultants say.

Producers should join a recognised farm assurance scheme to widen their marketing opportunities.

They should also undertake a mid-winter review of cattle performance and, if necessary, adjust rations to get finishing cattle and suckler cows on target for the rest of the winter.

The best way to protect margins is by achieving target performance, the report says.

And producers should realise that when subsidy claims have been maximised, heifers may be more profitable than male cattle.

  • Copies of the Beef Management 98 briefing are available free from MLC Economics Services on 01908 844396

  • Click here for Finished Cattle Trends and Prices

  • Click here for October-December 1997 Finished Cattle market reports