20 November 1998

Cattle upturn

CATTLE prices bounced up early this week, with Christmas buying giving a boost to demand.

Finished steers were up nearly 6p to 87p/kg lw on Monday.

Seasonal buying is coinciding with tight supplies, says Duncan Sinclair of the Meat and Livestock Commission. The progress of housed stock has been slower than usual, after wet weather hit weight gain at grass in the autumn.

The upturn offers some good news for farmers, coinciding with this weeks government aid package announcement. And the expected lifting of the beef export ban will further help the market, adds Mr Sinclair.

At Lancaster, auctioneer John Hughes also saw the rise, with a top price of 122.5p/kg paid for a heifer. "I cant remember the last time we topped the 120p-mark," says Mr Hughes. &#42