By FWi staff

FINISHED cattle prices looked as if they would continue to strengthen at livestock markets this week, but fell back again yesterday (Wednesday), by 2.4p.

The recent increase can be attributed to an increase in purchasing from abattoirs in the run-up to Christmas, noted Meat and Livestock economist Duncan Sinclair.

“With all the Christmas shows and top-quality animals we should see a lift in prices,” said Mr Sinclair. “But with supplies of all other meat high, the scope for an increase could be less this year.”

At markets this week prices continued to inch higher with light steers climbing 2.11p to 74.41p/kg. Medium steers also improved rising 1.31p to 81.27p/kg. However, heavy steers fell back dropping to 83.01p/kg.

Light heifers made a marked recovery climbing 3.50p to 75.26p/kg while medium heifers only nudged up 0.10p to 80.64p/kg. Heavy heifers eased of at 81.49p/kg.

Light bulls surged 23.99p at markets on Tuesday rising to 82.85p/kg, while medium bulls only inched 0.44p at 86.16p/kg. Heavy bulls made a slight recovery at 86.97p/kg.

With the pre-Christmas trade, better cattle are coming to market, said auctioneer Paul Gentry. “Cattle have increased 10-12p in the last 3 weeks.”

“Best cattle are selling for 120-135p/kg,” he said. “And it is these cattle that the retailers are buying.”

But markets in Scotland saw no improvement, with cattle prices plummeting further. Steers fell 7.59p to an average of 90.70p/kg and heifers dropped 5.59p. Young bulls also slumped, easing 4.39p at 89.29p/kg.