Tuesday, 3 March, 1998

By FWi staff

THE slump in cattle prices continued at live auctions across England and Wales yesterday.

Average steer prices dropped 1.24p to 86.84p/ kg, according to figures from the Meat and Livestock Commission. Heifer prices fell 1.55p to 85.96p/ kg and young bulls eased 0.87p to 90.21p/ kg.

At Skipton, commercial heifers sold to 105p/ kg but made an average of only 88p/ kg. Premium heifers averaged 125.3p/ kg and prime heifers made 112.5p/ kg.

Male cattle did better but attracted only a few entries. Premium steers averaged 135p/ kg and prime steers averaged 119p/ kg. No bulls were sold.

At Exeter, the cattle entry was also small. Light steers averaged 67.92p/ kg, medium steers 87.14p/ kg, and heavy steers 82.52p/ kg. Heavy heifers made 80.0p/ kg. Trade was better than expected but reflected low demand for finished cattle, according to Exeter Market Auctioneers.

At Bury St Edmunds, black and white cattle prices showed a slight increase on last week. Light steers made 92p/ kg, medium steers 88.6p/ kg, and heavy steers 84.7p/ kg. Medium heifers averaged 83.9p/ kg and heavy heifers 84.4p/ kg.

At Bakewell, prices also exceeded expectations. But the overall average of 86.2p/ kg was much the same as last week. Young bulls made 94.2p/ kg and steers sold at 90-95p/ kg. Better quality heifers averaged about 95p/ kg. But poorer quality cattle were harder to sell and continental-cross heifers sold to only 80-85p/ kg.

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